Cast of the Customs House show My Uncle Freddie visit Beamish for photoshoot

The cast of new show in South Tyneside have been soaking up the atmosphere at Beamish Museum, where the original radio play was recorded.

Andrew Finnigan as Lecky and Chris Connel as Uncle Freddie.
Andrew Finnigan as Lecky and Chris Connel as Uncle Freddie.

The Radio 4 classic My Uncle Freddie has been adapted for the stage for the first time by acclaimed Jarrow writer and fellow of The Customs House Academy, Alex Ferguson.

It will be directed by Gareth Hunter and performed at The Customs House in South Shields from Tuesday, July 17, to Saturday, July 21.

Chris Connel as Uncle Freddie.

Set in 1930s Jarrow, the play follows the adventures of 10-year-old Lecky, played by Andrew Finnigan, and his family - including his imaginative Uncle Freddie, played by Chris Connel, who has starred in the likes of Emmerdale and Byker Grove.

The play, which celebrates the human spirit, humour and community of the North East, also stars Georgia Nicholson as Mam, Paul Dunn as Dad and Jill Dellow - known for her roles in the likes of Tracy Beaker Returns- as Aunt Bella.

The cast visited Beamish to take part in a photoshoot for the production and soak up the atmosphere in the 1900s town, colliery and pit village.

Gareth said: “We chose Beamish because My Uncle Freddie was originally recorded in one of the cottages in The Pit Village, so it was a case of taking it back to where it all started.

Jill Dellow as Aunt Bella.

“We also wanted the photos to have an authentic feel and Beamish provided the perfect backdrop.

“It’s a fantastic and fascinating place to visit and to be able to use it for our publicity images was great.

“It was challenging, as it was open to the public at the same time, so we had to take the pictures quickly.

“Normally we would have got funny looks doing photos in public, but at Beamish, the cast just looked like they were meant to be there!”

Andrew Finnigan as Lecky

My Uncle Freddie was first broadcast in 1997 as a funny and heart-warming trilogy of tales from a 1930s childhood in Jarrow, starring Shaun Prendergast, Colin Maclachlan, Alex Ferguson and Janine Birkett.

Julie Wilson, head of communications at Beamish, said: “We were delighted to be able to help out with locations for The Customs House photoshoot, especially as the original Radio 4 plays were recorded here – almost 21 years to the day!”

Tickets start from £15 and available by calling on 0191 454 1234 or online at

Andrew Finnigan as Lecky.
Paul Dunn as Dad.