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Preview: My Uncle Freddie at South Shields Customs House


My Uncle Freddie
South Shields Customs House
Tuesday 17th– Saturday 21st July 2018.

Rehearsals have begun for The Customs House production of My Uncle Freddie.

The award-winning BBC Radio 4 comedy drama has been adapted for the stage by the writer of the original series, Jarrow-born Alex Ferguson, who was recent inducted as a Fellow of The Customs House Academy.

Rehearsals for My Uncle Freddie get underway at Jarrow Town Hall.
(L-R) Paul Dunn, Georgia Nicholson, writer Alex Ferguson, Jill Dellow, 
director Gareth Hunter, costume designer David Gibson, Andrew Finnigan and Chris Connel.

Set in Jarrow in the 1930s, the play follows the adventures of 10-year-old Lecky and his family, including his imaginative Uncle Freddie, who is full of tale tales about his involvement in various major historical events.

The cast gathered at Jarrow Town Hall on Monday to begin rehearsals under the watchful eye of Mr Ferguson and the show’s director, Gareth Hunter. They were joined by Jordan Embleton, technical manager at The Customs House, who has been working on the soundscape, and costume designer David Gibson.

Gareth said: “We’ve got a great cast assembled and it was lovely to see them all together and hear the script read aloud in such a fantastic location. The play is set in Jarrow and references areas around Grange Road, where Jarrow Town Hall is situated.  Jarrow Town Hall is an inspirational place to rehearse in because of the history of the building. The cast are really excited to get started. It’s a fun script and the play is going to be enjoyable for the cast and audience alike.”

Lecky is played by The Customs House Youth Theatre alumnus Andrew Finnigan (Broken Biscuits, Drip), while Broadway actor Chris Connel (The Pitman Painters, Emmerdale, Byker Grove, Inspector George Gently) takes on the role of Uncle Freddie.

Georgia  Nicholson (The Cinder Path, The Dolly Mixtures) plays Mam, Paul Dunn (I Left My Heart in Roker Park, Seriously Dead) plays Dad and Jill Dellow (Horrible Histories, Tracey Beaker Returns, Hollyoaks, Hospital People, Vera), plays Aunt Bella.

My Uncle Freddie was first broadcast in 1997 as a hilarious and heart-warming trilogy of tales from a 1930s childhood in Jarrow. It was recorded at Beamish, where publicity shots for the stage production were taken in May.

Tickets for My Uncle Freddie are priced from £15 and available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at Performances start at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday.

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