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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

REVIEW: End of the Pier at South Shields Customs House


Tales Of The Unexpected

End of the Pier
South Shields Customs House
Until Saturday 26th August 2017

Writer & Director: Neil Armstrong
Production Manager: Gareth Hunter
Lighting: John Rainsforth
Wardrobe: Kate Hamilton


The End of the Pier is a crime comedy which takes place on the final night of an end of pier show. With a number of twists, and laughs, there is plenty here to keep the audiences guessing.

Edith and Lionel Bosh don’t like each other. However, as a married double act, they’re expected to entertain the crowds for each night. They have been performing as ‘The Lovebirds’ for the past 25 years which has given them plenty of opportunity to really get on each other’s nerves. In fact they both plan to kill their partner during the final show of their current 3 month season.

The humour of tonight’s show is similar to the Space/Cerys Matthews hit from the 90s ‘The Ballad of Tom Jones’. Experience and on stage chemistry between Zoe Lambert and Neil Armstrong, as the acting couple Edith & Lionel, was essential in order to make this show work. The audience has to feel their dislike for one another and the determination to see the end of each other. Zoe and Neil did a fine job of keeping the pace of the show moving along nicely.

In supporting roles are panto legend Bob Stott as theatrical agent Barnaby and Wayne Miller as Stagedoor man Tam. Wayne is great as the tenacious theatre worker. He comes across as authentic when dealing with the “luvvy” actors.

The atmospheric setting of the changing room of the Edwardian Theatre was achieved on the Customs House stage. However, I’d prefer the gun sounds to be a little louder as it would help increase the impact.

The tale is full of its little twists and you have a nice contrast between the well read actors and the unsympathetic theatre worker. The story wouldn’t look out of place on TV. It was a pleasant show to watch and is a great start to The Custom House’s season.

Review by Stephen Oliver

Tickets:
End of the Pier runs from Tuesday 22nd August, from Saturday 26th August 2017, with shows at 7.30pm and a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday.
Tickets are £18, or £15 for Friends of The Customs House. Contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.


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