Double delight as Alice and South Shields theatre celebrate 150th milestone

Alice in Wonderland in this year's Customs House panto.
Alice in Wonderland in this year's Customs House panto.
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South Tyneside’s historic Customs House theatre is celebrating a double 150th anniversary with a production of Alice in Wonderland.

The venue, in Mill Dam, South Shields, is staging the show as its annual Christmas panto.

Customs House director Ray Spencer is celebrating the venue's 150th anniversary.

Customs House director Ray Spencer is celebrating the venue's 150th anniversary.

Yesterday was the story’s 150th anniversary and this year also marks 150 years since the building first opened its doors as a customs office in 1865.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who directs, co-writes and stars in the annual festive show, said: “Alice in Wonderland was the obvious choice for this year’s pantomime.

“It’s a fantastic story with very colourful characters.

“And, as some of the story was written in South Tyneside, we felt we had to really celebrate our link to one of literature’s greatest and most iconic tales.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published on November 26, 1865 and tells the story of a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

It was written by author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll – and it is said he wrote his famous poems Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter while visiting family in Whitburn.

The Customs House is also adding to the madness of Carroll’s world with Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties throughout the festive season.

On December 6, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29 and 30, children will be able to enjoy special parties with an afternoon tea, party games, entertainment and an opportunity for a meet and greet with some of the panto cast members.

The Alice in Wonderland panto production, sponsored by Hays Travel, is on at The Customs House from Tuesday, December 1 to Saturday, January 9.

Tickets for the pantomime and Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties start from £9 and are available from the box office on 0191 454 1234 or from the theatre’s official website at www.customshouse.co.uk