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Preview: Dance Across the Tyne at South Shields Customs House

Family is at the Heart of New Nostalgic Show

Dance Across the Tyne
South Shields Customs House
Tuesday March 1st  to Saturday March 5th 2016

It’s a real family affair on the set of a new musical drama.

Dance Across the Tyne comes to The Customs House in South Shields this week and follows hot on the heels of last year’s community production and box office triumph Dance to Your Daddy.

Panto regular Natasha Haws will return to the stage following her successful turn as Alice in Alice in Wonderland and will join mum Patricia for the first time to play mother and daughter Jenny and Maria.

Natasha, who is used to performing alongside her dad in the annual panto, said: “Working with my mam has been a huge learning curve, trying to create a new mother-daughter relationship as characters rather than our natural relationship has taken a lot of work but I think we've created a very loving believable family.

“Thankfully we've never had such high emotion scenes in real life so shouting at my mother's been odd!”

Patricia, a mum-of-four and member of popular cabaret group Encore, added: “To be playing mother and daughter on stage with my eldest daughter Natasha I'm finding a wonderful experience and I feel so privileged that this show has given us the opportunity to perform together for the very first time.

“It all just feels so very natural and comfortable that I sincerely hope that we may get the opportunity to repeat it at some later stage. It’s been a lovely experience and to sum it all up, I'm one proud Mama “

The show starts in 1959 when a boatload of Venezuelan sailors land in South Shields. Their impact is dramatic, and involves fights, hospitals, babies, memories, and a mystery that will affect one family for decades.

It’s a powerful story with a variety of brand new songs to follow up Dance to Your Daddy, which won the prestigious Performance Award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association in 2014.

David Cooke and Grahame Wright, the team that brought Dance to your Daddy to the venue’s stage last March, have got together to bring this year’s community production to the stage.

Director and writer David Cooke is also working with his wife Carol and granddaughter Grace.

He said: “When members of the cast are close family members it’s even more special.

“My wife Carol and granddaughter Grace have delighted me with their enthusiasm and dedication.  It’s been a thrill to work with them and to have made this a family event.”

Carol added: “It’s great being in a play with Gracie, because I see more of her than usual. It’s a real family affair and as the play was written and directed by David, if you’re not sure how a character should be played you can ask him on the way home.  There is a down side to this, as we tend to take production problems home with us too!”

Grace said: “It’s been excellent working alongside my grandma and being directed by my granddad, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Dance Across the Tyne will run at the venue from Tuesday March 1ST  to Saturday March 5TH. Tickets are £10 or £8 concession and are available from the box office on 0191 454 1234 or by visiting

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