"Powerful authority in her performance"
Naomi was somehow destined for the stage, but she took a lot of persuading. Once she stood as a reluctant angel in her school's nativity play, then later decided it might be a good idea to participate in Drama GCSE to improve her confidence. Now, she can be seen performing in Shakespeare's comedies, supporting the ideas explored in new writing and being a favourite choice of children's theatre directors.
After graduating from the University of Bristol with a Drama degree, Naomi cautiously entered the professional world of the performing arts. Developing her skills 'on the job', she initially performed for children's theatre audiences, adapting the skills she had learnt as a community artist for the stage.
Naomi has played a dizzying array of characters, from the comedic and streetwise Bird Who Has No Wings in Theatre Centre's How High Is Up? to the mischief-making Mistress Ford in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. As one critic put it, "Cackling with laughter... Naomi Cortes perfectly depicted [one of] the Merry Wives of Windsor." (The Argus)
She performed in Crossings, a new play by South Bank Show Award-winner Julie McNamara: "as Nzingah [Naomi] has a great stage presence and skilfully conveys her memories...She dances engagingly in African style and has a powerful authority in her performance." (What's On Stage)
In Polka Theatre's production of The Snow Queen Naomi was "a force of nature as the bombastic Robber Girl", and for their earlier production of The Jolly Postman she transformed into a frightening yet lovelorn Wicked Witch and an awfully nice but dim-witted Prince. "Cortes, a versatile actor, makes a lovely toff-ish Prince Charming." (The Stage)
For the BBC she played the straight-talking district nurse Pam Yahoya in their daytime soap Doctors and the no-nosense Sergeant Teresa Singer in the popular children's series Crisis Control and created an array of different voices in a radio adaptation of Valerie Bloom's Surprising Joy.