TWO former Pride of South Tyneside winners have teamed up to put on a theatre production.
Director Gareth Hunter, who was crowned Young Performer of the Year in 2001 in the Gazette’s annual awards event, is staging a version of Dame Catherine Cookson’s The Fifteen Streets, next month.
He’s drafted in 2007’s Young Performer, Jonathan Winter, to compose and record an original soundtrack to accompany the show during its run at The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, from June 18 to 21.
Gareth, 34, who is putting on the show through his company ION Productions, said: “Jonny has played me some of the pieces on piano and they sound great.
“We’re going to get help from some local musicians to record it so we can use it for the show every night.
“I wanted the music to have a really traditional North East folk-feel to it and I think what Jonny has come up with is going to be very interesting.”
He added: “I could have just chosen traditional music to use but it’s exciting to have a soundtrack specially composed for the show.
“I can’t wait to hear it along with the show and see it come together.”
Gareth, from South Shields, added: “The show is taken from what is probably one of Catherine Cookson’s most well-known books.
“It’s a love story but there’s plenty of humour in there as well and lots of very interesting characters. There’s something for everyone.
“It’s all set around the North East and South Tyneside, and ultimately it is a story of class. It’s about a shipyard worker who falls in love with a woman who is higher than him in status.
“I think the play is something people can still relate to, and I think Catherine Cookson is still very important to the people of South Tyneside.
“Her stories may have been set in a particular time, but the issues transcend time – they’re still relevant today and people can still really relate to the characters.”
The Fifteen Streets is at The Customs House from Wednesday, June 18 to Saturday, June 21, at 7.30pm each night.
Tickets cost £13 with an £11 concession. To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.