See Tickets




The Lambton Worm
South Shields Customs House
Tuesday 28th November 2017 - Saturday 6th January 2018

Panto season is less than four weeks away at The Customs House - and a new video has been launched to mark the occasion.

David John Hopper as Arbuthnot and
 Ray Spencer as Dame Bella Ballcock
The short sketch, featuring Dame Bella Ballcock (Ray Spencer) and on-stage son Arbuthnot (David John Hopper), was filmed on the riverside by South Shields-based Unified Media.

It includes drone footage to depict a ‘worm’s eye view’ of The Customs House as the creature emerges from the Tyne where Arbuthnot is fishing.

Other cast members then appear to help coax the worm into the theatre, ready for its starring role in The Lambton Worm.

Ray, who also co-writes and directs the show, said: “We worked closely with Unified Media to come up with a concept that would reflect the fun of the pantomime. It was very important for us to support a local company.”

Phil Skinner, Jon Burton and
Ryan Gibson from Unified Media
Unified Media was formed in 2015 by a group of filmmakers and musicians from South Shields, to provide bespoke, professional creative and cinematic video productions for any occasion.

Co-founder Jon Burton said: “The Customs House approached us to create the advert for The Lambton Worm with something quite creative in mind. Certainly more ambitiously than previous years, they were looking for a way to actually have the worm feature as a character in the advert, without revealing what it looks like.  We devised a way to use our aerial drone to achieve this, and the result you see is the characters seen from a sort of 'worm’s-eye-view'!  We had half a day to get everything we needed with the actors in costume, so it was a challenging shoot, but it was very enjoyable working with the panto cast.”

The Lambton Worm, sponsored by Hays Travel, runs from Tuesday, November 28, 2017, to Saturday, January 6, 2018. Morning, matinee and evening performances are available, with tickets priced from just £9.99.

Unified Media filming with Arbuthnot and
Dame Bella Ballcock (David John Hopper and Ray Spencer)
It has been written in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the traditional north east folk song The Lambton Worm, which was written in 1867.

It tells the legend of the brave Sir John Lambton, who returns home from war to slay a ferocious beast that has been terrorising the villages around the Lambton estate.

There will be a twist in the tale – and a much happier ending – in The Customs House version of the story, however.

The video can be viewed here:

Steven Lee Hamilton will take on the role of The Brave and Bold Sir John, with Eleanor Chaganis as the princess, Natasha Haws as Susie Soothsayer from Southwick and Georgia Nicholson as her sister, Poison Pen from Penshaw.

Gareth Hunter appears as The Sultan, while comedian and one half of Britain’s Got Talent’s The Mimic Men, Cal Halbert, plays Lord Larry Lambton and Lewis Jobson will don the costume of Puddles the Dog.  

Designers Paul Shriek and Matt Fox have once again worked their magic on the costumes and sets and backing dancers will be provided by South Tyneside Dance Workshop.


For performance times and bookings for The Lambton Worm, contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit

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