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NEWS: New Season Launch at the Customs House


A special cover graces the front of the new season brochure at The Customs House.

The first programme of 2019 officially kicks off a year of celebrations marking the South Shields theatre’s 25th year as an arts venue.

(l-r) Catherine Hymers, Director of Operations at
The Customs House, and Box Office Manager Karen English,
with the new season brochure marking the
start of the arts venue’s 25th anniversary celebrations
Several shows in the first three months of the year are part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, including Arbuthnot and Pals’ Detective Agency, Tom & Catherine and When the Boat Comes In.

Ray Spencer MBE, Executive Director of The Customs House, said: “In the last quarter of a century, The Customs House has welcomed millions of people and made magical memories, from seeing great artists and great shows to bursting with pride watching their child on stage and nurturing our unique South Tyneside talent.  We’ve survived the vagaries of arts funding and the chill wind of austerity and have remained here, serving the people of South Tyneside and the wider area. There are many opportunities this year for you to take part and support our fundraising initiatives and exciting 25th anniversary programme.”

The year kicks off with the final performances of the panto Beauty and the Beast, which runs until Saturday, January 5. Tickets are also now on sale for its successor, Snow White, which was The Customs House’s first pantomime.

Comedian Adam Rowe takes to the stage on Friday, January 18, with a double dose of Jason Cook’s Comedy Club on Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3, ensuring people start the year with a good laugh.

Other theatre highlights include Ballet Theatre UK’s production of Beauty and the Beast on Sunday, January 27, Irish dance production Gaelforce on Thursday, January 31 and the return of one-man show Drip on Sunday, February 3.

Abbott Dance Theatre brings Deeds Not Words, written to mark the centenary of women over the age of 30 winning the right to vote in the UK, to the stage on Thursday, February 7, featuring choral music and dance from local community groups.

Halt-term treats include Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show on Sunday, February 17, and Arbnuthnot and Pals’ Detective Agency, featuring panto favourites Arbuthnot, Puddles and Cutlet, which runs from Tuesday, February 19 to Friday, February 22.

Pulse – part of U.Dance – will showcase the talent and commitment of young dance groups as they compete for a place representing the north east at the national event in summer 2019, on Monday, February 25.

Performing Arts students from the University of Sunderland will then perform their version of 9 to 5 The Musical, based on the music of country music legend Dolly Parton, on Wednesday, February 27 and Thursday, February 28.

Music comes in the shape of The Simon and Garfunkel Story on Saturday, January 19, A Viennese Strauss Gala on Friday, January 25, Big O and the Travelling Wilburys on Saturday, January 26, The Legends of American Country Show on Tuesday, February 5, Collabro on Sunday, February 10, Queen tribute band The Bohemians on Thursday, February 14, Irish pop/country singer Nathan Carter on Sunday, February 17, Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers on Saturday, February 23 and Roy G Hemmings’ Hits of Motown on Sunday, February 24.

Looking ahead to March, highlights include the return of Tom & Catherine, a musical written by Tom Kelly and John Miles, and When the Boat Comes In, the first stage adaptation of the iconic BBC TV drama, to The Customs House.

For more information about upcoming shows and events at The Customs House, pick up a new January/February brochure, contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit

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