What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Toasting a top season

FROM wizards to puppets, Geordie samurai warriors to love-starved widows, alternative histories to return journeys – there is a huge range of entertainment on offer at the Customs House in the coming months.

FROM wizards to puppets, Geordie samurai warriors to love-starved widows, alternative histories to return journeys – there is a huge range of entertainment on offer at the Customs House in the coming months.

The theatre in South Shields has just unveiled a packed programme for July to October with a range of music, drama and comedy to entertain the family and that includes a performance directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins who especially requested the production come to the town.

Family favourite The Wizard of Oz is brought to life with a fantastic out door performance at North Marine Park on July 28. Heartbreak Productions’ outstanding interpretation of the all time classic promises to be an exceptional night out for all the family – the audience is invited to bring a blanket and a picnic and take a trip down the yellow brick road with Dorothy, Toto and her trio of friends.

The Puppet Festival throughout August showcases the art of puppetry with a number of performances as well as the opportunity to make your own puppet and learn ventriloquism.

How do three widowed ladies find love, money and a career in today’s modern world? This question is answered with the return of the hugely successful comedy Off the Shelf – a sell out at this year’s New Writing Festival. The three Angels of the North – Irene, Ruth and Margaret – attempt to have it all, with hilarious results. Off the Shelf will be performed at the New Boldon Community Theatre, Boldon, from August 16 to August 25.

One of the North East’s favourite historians will be putting his own quirky slant on the history of theatre and the maritime history of the world. Erasmus Bottle presents his alternative histories in the Customs House green room on August 31 and September 16.

A Geordie shoe salesman who discovers he is the descendant of a legendary Samurai warrior is the subject of a brand new radio play which comes to the Customs House studio from September 7 to September 29 with an opportunity to buy a dinner, theatre, or lunch theatre package. Written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood – who have previously entertained audiences with hilarious plays Dirty Dusting, Waiting for Gateaux, Good to Firm and Raising The Stakes – Son of Samurai promises the pair’s usual outrageous brand of comedy with some audience participation for good measure.

For something completely different, They Get Free Mobiles… Don’t They? is a new multimedia documentary theatre production brought to the Customs House on October 9 by Birmingham-based Banner Theatre. This live multimedia show, which combines music, song, video, film and theatre, sets out to cut through the lies and media-generated myths about asylum seekers and refugees. Sponsored by Unison.

Gonzo Moose’s You Don’t Need To Know That plunges into the shadowy world of incompetent policemen, over-zealous torturers, senile prison guards and lecherous inmates. One man must battle to prove his innocence in impossible circumstances. This exhilarating combination of comedy, drama, slapstick and puppetry is at the Customs House studio on October 11.

Dylan Thomas: Return Journey comes to the studio at the Customs House on October 18. Towards the end of his life Thomas toured America performing his works to sell-out audiences. This is a chance to experience the Welsh poet and writer’s show recreated by Bob Kingdom. The play features A Childs Christmas in Wales directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins who requested the Customs House as it holds a special place in his heart.

Tickets for all productions from the Customs House box office on (0191) 454 1234. www.customshouse.co.uk

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