Cannon aims to have a ball in South Shields

Leah Bell, Tommy Cannon and Billy Pearce in Seriously Dead
Leah Bell, Tommy Cannon and Billy Pearce in Seriously Dead

Legendary comedian Tommy Cannon is appearing on stage in South Tyneside - without his usual sidekick, Bobby Ball.

The stage veteran has been cast as small-time crook and ladies’ man Albert Blunderstone in musical comedy Seriously Dead, which comes to The Customs House, South Shields, on Tuesday.

Producer, co-writer and co-star Leah Bell felt he’d be perfect for the role, having kept in touch with Cannon and Ball since they first met 30 years ago.

She said: “We’d worked together in a summer season show in Jersey and he was a lovely man and I wondered if Tommy would be up for doing something different.”

Seriously Dead tells the story of a group of people who are approaching the Pearly Gates and are united by a wish that they’d done something different with their lives.

Tommy, who turns 80 later this year, said: “It’s all very different from the act that Bobby and I do, which is structured but also fairly free-wheeling. A stage play means learning lines for a start – and sticking to them!”

The play’s title comes from a song written by Mike Redway, who has done all the music for the show, which rocked the nation with laughter when it first went on tour.”

Seriously Dead has been getting rave reviews and nightly standing ovations.

The cast is completed by comedian and variety performer Billy Pearce and north east writer and actor Paul Dunn, whose next appearance at The Customs House will be in My Uncle Freddie in July.

Tickets for Seriously Dead are priced from £22 and the show starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or book online at www.customshouse.co.uk.