A former Emmerdale actor is returning to his ‘spiritual home’ as he appears in a musical which originated in a South Shields theatre.
Dale Meeks, from South Shields, is to star in Geordie The Musical when the show is staged at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, in Newcastle, next week.
It is the first time an in-house production of The Customs House has been performed outside of the Mill Dam theatre since 2014.
Dale will take on the role of James, and is the only addition to the original cast that performed to sell-out audience at The Customs House in 2015.
As well as Emmerdale, Dale, 41, has starred in a UK tour of Chicago and a West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s A Beautiful Game.
He said: “When I was 14 years old I joined the Tyne Theatre Saturday morning drama school.
I’m thrilled to be involved in this dynamic and exciting regional musical and work once again with many good friends and colleagues in a venue that I will always consider as my origin and spiritual homeDale Meeks
“As a direct result I was cast in Byker Grove for the BBC and started my professional acting career, which has naturally shaped my entire life so far.
“I stayed in the show for six series and at the youth theatre for as many years and made some lifelong friends.
“I’m thrilled to be involved in this dynamic and exciting regional musical and work once again with many good friends and colleagues in a venue that I will always consider as my origin and spiritual home.”
The staging of Geordie the Musical will coincide with the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House.
The show is set in the 1890s in a pub on the banks of the River Tyne, and centres on pub landlords James and Bella and their daughter Maggie in a changing time for the North East.
Dale will appear opposite Viktoria Kay as Bella and Eleanor Chaganis as Maggie, and replacesShaun Prendergast in the lead role.
It will be his return to the stage where he honed his acting skills as a teenager as a member of the Tyne Theatre Stage School.
Geordie The Musical is at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House from Wednesday, October 11, to Saturday, October 14, with performances starting at 7.30pm each evening and at 2pm on Thursday and Saturday.
Tickets, priced £18 or £16 concessions and limited view, are available by calling 0844 249 1000 or visiting www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk.
Director Jamie Brown said: “We’re in great shape and what an occasion it promises to be – a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate our region, its beautiful songs, and 150 years of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House all in the same night.
“It has the potential to be very special.
“After the success of the original production in 2015, there is a degree of expectation this time around, but maintaining the majority of the original cast and having made further embellishments to both script and music, we stand in good stead for a celebration not to be forgotten. Come and join us!”