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Preview: Magic of Hollywood at South Shields Customs House


The Magic of Hollywood
South Shields Customs House
Tuesday 1st May 2018

As the Strictly Come Dancing live shows have started on Saturday evenings, you might want to pick up the phone for something other than voting for your favourite couple.

Pasha Kovalev and Anja Garnis in
The Magic of Hollywood.
Tickets are now on sale for The Magic of Hollywood, featuring Pasha Kovalev, at The Customs House in South Shields next year.Pasha arrived in the UK in 2011 as one of the professionals on Strictly Come Dancing and lifted the glitterball trophy in 2014 with TV presenter Caroline Flack. He was also runner-up with Waterloo Road, Casualty and Hollyoaks actress Chelsee Healy in 2011 and Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh in 2012.

This year, the Russian Latin and ballroom dancer has been paired with Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu, who took part in this year’s Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, coming second with two of her on-screen colleagues. 

In The Magic of Hollywood, Pasha will take to the stage with a cast of spectacular dancers, including special guest Anja Garnis, for an evening of live singing, dancing and fun. The show will be packed with sequins, glitz and glamour as Pasha and his dancers perform “Oscar-worthy” routines set to a Hollywood theme.

Ray Spencer, Executive Director of The Customs House, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Pasha back to The Customs House. His shows always sell-out, so as Strictly fever hits I would advise people to book their tickets sooner rather than later.”

The Magic of Hollywood is a hugely interactive show that reaches out to fans of Pasha, dance, ballroom, Hollywood and, of course, Strictly Come Dancing.
It follows the success of his previous live tours, Life Through Dance, It’s All About You and Let’s Dance The Night Away, all of which have proved a hit at The Customs House.

The Magic of Hollywood arrives at The Customs House on Tuesday 1st May 2018, at 7.30pm.
Tickets, priced from £26, are available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at
For an additional £20, fans can also meet Pasha before the show.


Preview: Jason Cooks Comedy Club at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

Jason Cook takes his comedy club to the Tyne Theatre & Opera House!


Jason Cooks Comedy Club

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Saturday 27th January 2018

Jason Cook has announced he is opening another comedy club in the North East, this time in the 1100 seat Tyne Theatre & Opera House in Newcastle.

Jason Cook
Cook already has comedy clubs in The Customs House in South Shields and The Queen’s Hall in Hexham, and hopes this new venture will continue a sellout run at his other venues. "It's a huge room, and one of the most beautiful spaces in the country to perform in.  I’ve done shows there before for different things but this is going to be something incredible.  The theatre are right behind it and I’m hoping people are going to come and see the very best of the comedy world right here in our own town.”

At 1100 seats, this will make the venture the largest regular comedy club in the country.  Theatre Director Joanne Johnson says: “We’re thrilled to add Jason Cooks Comedy Club to our 2018 programme.  The Tyne Theatre has a great reputation for Comedy and we’re excited to host a regular Comedy Club at the Theatre once again.

Chris Ramsey
Headlining will be North East comedian very much on the up, Chris Ramsey. Having played the Newcastle Arena last year, Ramsey is very happy to be returning to the Tyne Theatre, “This wonderful venue will always have a place in my heart as I recorded my DVD there. It’s a pleasure to come back and be part of such a wonderful comedy night.”

Cook’s nights have become notorious for bringing stars to the area and not following the format of a ‘traditional’ comedy night. “I’ve done stand up for so long that I’m bored with the usual setup of a compere a few acts” adds Cook “We always try to do something special in every show, and for this one we’ll be doing our “News from the North” which is a fake news program written especially for each performance. People love it and we have done specials on the Great North Run, the Christmas celebrations, you name it.’

It is also rumoured that a favourite character from News From the North will be appearing in the shape of President Donald Trump’s cousin, who happens to be a councillor from Tyneside, Dekka Trump.

“It was during the American election I thought it would be fun to have a character so blustering and ridiculous as Donald Trump but have him address the local politics of Tyneside” says Cook.

And the rest of the night is set to be full of surprises as Cook has yet to release the other acts on the bill.

“I’m talking to a few big names but I don’t want to say anything yet until it’s sorted but it is going to be a huge show, I cannot wait for people to see it.’ Adds Cook.

More details are at:

The show will be on Saturday January 27th, starting at 8pm.
Age Restriction 16+

Tickets: £12.00 (Plus booking fees when booking online or over the phone)

Tickets available from Online Ticket LINK from our affiliate Eventim Tickets

or 0844 249 1000 or in person from the theatre’s box office.
Eventim Tickets


Preview: Hi-De-Hi! at Newcastle Peoples Theatre

“Good morning, campers!”

Newcastle Peoples Theatre
Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th October 2017

Adapted by Paul Carpenter and Ian Gower
from the original TV series by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Photo: Paula Smart

Next week audiences are invited to join in along the chalet lines as the People’s Theatre in Heaton is transformed into 1950s holiday camp Maplins!
Photo: Paula Smart

This adaptation of the hugely popular TV series sees its host of colourful characters brought to the stage. Will Gladys capture her boss’s heart? Will chalet maid Peggy achieve her burning ambition to become a Yellowcoat? Will that rogue Ted ever stop trying to scam the campers? Whatever happens, don’t be late for the knobbly knees contest in the Hawaiian Ballroom!
Photo: Paula Smart
HI-DE-HI! by Jimmy Perry and David Croft (who also penned Dad’s Army) ran for an incredible 58 episodes between 1980-1988, scooping a BAFTA along the way for Best Comedy.
Photo: Paula Smart
Based on Perry’s own experiences as a Butlins Redcoat, the show charts the exploits of the Camp entertainment staff led by bumbling ex-professor Jeffrey Fairbrother.
Photo: Paula Smart
The nights may be closing in, but it’s eternal summer at this holiday resort in Crimpton-on-Sea where the Yellowcoats are always on hand with a smile and a joke. 

Fast, funny and warm-hearted, HI-DE-HI! promises to be a fun-packed night out full of comedy, laughter and music. There’s even prizes to be won, with Camp competitions including ‘Guess the Baby’ and a dance contest. Unfortunately we don’t think Heath and Safely regulations will let us recreate the infamous Blindfold Bicycle Competition! 
Photo: Paula Smart
So don’t hang about and be sure to reserve your deckchair by the Olympic-sized swimming pool. And when those Yellowcoats shout “hi-de-hi” remember to come back with a nice loud “ho-de-ho”!

Also showing, the exhibition ‘Born With A Darker Tan’ by Jayamini de Silva, presented in association with the Biscuit Factory. See this stunning exhibition in our newly decked out foyer before the show.

TICKETS:            £13.50 (Concessions £11)
BOX OFFICE:    0191 265 5020



Darlington’s Market Square will play host to the world’s first pop-up, plug-in and play theatre – the Paines Plough Roundabout, from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 October as part of Darlington Theatre Town.

Paines Plough is the UK’s national theatre of new plays. The company commissions and produces the best playwrights and tours their plays far and wide. Paines Plough was formed in 1974 over a pint of Paines bitter in the Plough pub. Since then they have produced more than 130 new productions by world renowned playwrights like Stephen Jeffreys, Abi Morgan, Sarah Kane and Mike Bartlett.

With a seating capacity of 150 the Roundabout theatre will present a full calendar of events while in Darlington, from children’s theatre and straight plays to music and comedy. Backstage tours and meet the cast events are also available.

Darlington Theatre Town
Darlington Theatre Town is an exciting new initiative to present the most ambitious and high quality theatre in Darlington. The project brings together the expertise of partners Creative Darlington, Darlington Hippodrome, Luxi, Theatre Hullabaloo and ODDMANOUT to cement Darlington’s place in the Tees Valley as a Theatre Town and a place where theatre thrives.

The project, funded by the Arts Council and Darlington Borough Council, grew from the opportunity presented by the redevelopment of the Darlington Hippodrome, the exciting development of Theatre Hullabaloo’s new theatre for young audiences ‘The Hullabaloo’ and the momentum that has built over the last couple of years around theatre in unusual places by events such as the award-winning Jabberwocky Market.

For full details of what is on in the Roundabout visit to book call the box office on 01325 405405


News: Dance City Taster Day Gets People Aged 55+ Dancing

Dance City Taster Day Gets

People Aged 55+ Dancing

Newcastle Dance City
Sunday 1st October 2017

It’s widely known that dance is one of the best forms of exercise for keeping fit and healthy in body and mind and Dance City, the North East’s leading organisation for dance, is encouraging more people aged 55 and over to get dancing.

Dance City has organised a Taster Day for over 55’s to get moving and try out different styles of dance. The day which is open to all, is taking place on Sunday 1 October 2017, to coincide with UK Older People’s Day which celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to society and the economy.

The taster day is taking place at Dance City, Temple Street in Newcastle City Centre. It’s open to all and Dance City actively encourage those completely new to dance, those who may have danced when they were younger who wish to rekindle an old interest, and those who already take part in dance and would like to try out new styles. There will opportunities to try Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Salsa, Fitsteps, Vinyasa Flow and Pilates and it costs just £5 to take part.

The day which has been running now for three years, will be relaxed, informative and fun and has been described by past participants as ‘an excellent and enjoyable afternoon’ and ‘a warm welcoming, friendly, experience.’

Due to popular demand Dance City has recently expanded its programme of dance classes for people aged 55+ and now runs 10 weekly classes in Tap, Ballet, Pilates, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Fitsteps, Contemporary and Cuban Salsa. These run alongside 34 other 16+ dance classes in a wide range of styles which adults of all ages are welcome to attend and a wide range of classes for children and young people.

Anthony Baker, Joint CEO and Artistic Director of Dance City said: “What we are passionate about at Dance City is getting people moving and dancing regardless of their ability and age. We now have ten classes especially for people aged 55+. We want everyone to feel welcome to come along and dance with us whether you danced previously or not. We believe in the wonderful benefits that dance can bring to your life at any age.”

The Taster day is on at Dance City, on Sunday 1 October. Participants can book for session 1 (12.30-2.30) or session 2 (3-5pm) and it costs just £5.

Bookings and more information: / 0191 261 0505

Dance City 55+ Classes
Dance City runs a variety of dance classes for people aged 55 and over.

55+ Dance Classes and Workshops – all

Tap Beginners 55+
Fri 12.30-1.30

Tap Intermediate 55+
Mon 11.30am-12.30pm

Ballet Beginners 55+
Mon 12.30-1.30pm

Ballet Beginners 55+
Thu 12-1pm

Ballet Beginners 55+
Sun 12.30-1.30pm

Ballet Improvers 55+
Mon 2.30-3.30pm

Cuban Salsa Beginners 55+
Tues 11am-12pm

Pilates 55+
Wed 11am-12pm

Vinyasa Flow Yoga 55+
Thu 1-2pm

Vinyasa Flow Yoga 55+
Thu 5-6pm

Fitsteps 55+
Fri 1.45-2.45pm

Contemporary 55+
Sun 10.30-11.30am

Get Moving (All)
Wed 2-3pm

Get Moving (All)
Fri 11.15am-12.15pm


REVIEW: Rattle Snake at Newcastle Live Theatre

Emotional Tour-de-Force

Open Clasp and Live Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal present:
Rattle Snake


Thursday 21st- Saturday 30th September 2017: Newcastle Live Theatre

Monday 2nd October 2017: Rape Crisis @ Morpeth Town Hall

Tuesday 3rd October 2017: Middlesbrough Teesside University

Wednesday 4th October 2017: Sunderland Stages @ The Royalty Theatre

Thursday 5th October 2017: Newcastle Riverside Community Health Project,

Thursday 12th October 2017: Newcastle West End Women & Girls Centre

Friday 13th October 2017: Durham University

Tuesday 17th- Saturday 21st October 2017: York Theatre Royal

Tuesday 24th- Saturday 28th October 2017: Soho Theatre, London

Creative team
Writer    Catrina McHugh
Director    Charlotte Bennett
Designer    Anna Reid
Photo: Keith Pattison
Photo: Keith Pattison
Rattle Snake began life commissioned by Durham University and Durham Constabulary and was used to help train 398 Durham Police officers. This coincided with the change in UK law in 2015 which made coercive behaviour in a relationship illegal. Catrina McHugh MBE has worked with a number of women whose stories to create an emotional juggernaut that is one of the most powerful pieces of theatre that I’ve witnessed in some time.
Photo: Keith Pattison
Photo: Keith Pattison
The production follows two ladies who have both spent time with a man called James. Christina Berriman Dawson is Suzy, who met James in a bar and after a dance they exchanged numbers. James then invited her for a meal and the relationship blossomed as he was such a gentleman who wanted to listen to her story. Later she would marry him and have 2 children by him.
Photo: Keith Pattison
Photo: Keith Pattison
Simultaneously we also have Eilidh Talman with Jen’s story who met James at a bus stop and she also exchanged phone numbers. Fairly shortly after that first meeting James is asking Jen for support as his wife has kicked him out of the house.
Photo: Keith Pattison
Photo: Keith Pattison
By having the stories running concurrently we are able to see the repetition of the pattern of behaviour. Occasionally the other actor plays the role of James.  Between the two experiences you have the classic gaslighting behaviour leading to the partner feeling like they are walking on egg shells. Witnessing the systematic use of degrading insults and regular threats of violence is unpleasant, and yet it is important that there is public awareness of such scenarios. Adding to the emotions that you feel as you are watching this are the remainders of lack of support for these women and the ineffectualness of the legal systems.
Photo: Keith Pattison
The set is a simple steel framed cube with lighting attached. In the centre is a table where Jen and Suzy set the next meal for James. Reducing the size of the performance area results in a stronger focus on the emotionally charged stories.

Photo: Keith Pattison
The talented Christina Berriman Dawson and Eilidh Talman are totally believable as the women under threat. Director Charlotte Bennett and writer Catrina McHugh have both done well to keep the material coherent. It is not the sort of story one is used to hearing every day.

Photo: Keith Pattison
Perhaps the most shocking element is the unpleasant realisation that these are based upon the true tales of real women who exist right here, right now in our communities. Whilst the women whose experiences have been used have been kept anonymous, one cannot help but feel for them and their children.  In reality there is no happy ending. The abusers continue to abuse. The victims continue to hide.

Open Clasp continue to produce important work and Rattle Snake is no exception. It deserves a large audience in order to expose the issues presented. This is a worthy and powerful performance.

Review by Stephen Oliver

Tour & Ticket details:
  • Thursday 21st - Saturday 30th September 2017: Live Theatre, Newcastle / 0191 232 1232
  • Monday 2nd October 2017: Rape Crisis @ Morpeth Town Hall
  • Tuesday 3rd October 2017: Teesside University, Middlesbrough 01642 738232
  • Wednesday 4th October 2017: Sunderland Stages @ The Royalty Theatre  / 0191 561 3455
  • Thursday 5th October 2017: Riverside Community Health Project, Newcastle 0191 226 0754
  • Thursday 12th October 2017: West End Women & Girls Centre, Newcastle 0191 273 4942
  • Friday 13th October 2017: Durham University
  • Tuesday 17th - Saturday 21st October 2017: York Theatre Royal / 01904 623568
  • Tuesday 24th - Saturday 28th October 2017: Soho Theatre, London / 020 7478 0100