Geordie The Musical: Show telling story of North East life opens at Customs House

Donald McBride and Phil Corbitt
Donald McBride and Phil Corbitt
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Tonight’s the night for a heart-warming new show set to wow audiences in South Tyneside.

Geordie The Musical, penned by renowned playwright Tom Kelly, premieres tonight at The Customs House, with all involved excited at its opening.

Musical director Mike Turnbull with actor Luke Maddison

Musical director Mike Turnbull with actor Luke Maddison

Described as a heart-warming story of North East life with traditional Geordie songs, it features a nine-strong cast including recognisable names and faces from the stage and screen,

Director Jamie Brown said: “I’m excited. Staging a brand new piece of theatre on this scale poses many challenges, but fortunately, we’ve managed to assemble a group of actors and creatives who not only have the skills to meet these challenges head on, but are also a joy to share a rehearsal space with.

“I can’t wait to see the final product on opening night.”

Geordie The Musical stars actors Eleanor Chaganis, Micky Cochrane, Phil Corbitt, Adam Donaldson, James Hedley, Viktoria Kay, Luke Maddison, Donald McBride and Shaun Prendergast.

It is the brainchild of ex-pat Andy Bogle, a Geordie resident in the United States for the last 30 years.

Disappointed to hear some of the familiar sounds of his childhood were disappearing from the region, he teamed up with Tom and staff at the Customs House to work on an idea to celebrate the Geordie accent.

The musical is set in the 1890s in a pub on the banks of the River Tyne and centres on pub landlords Bella and James and their daughter Maggie. Assistant director Viktoria Kay, who plays Bella, added: “‘It’s no mean feat putting together a brand new musical but with such a hard-working, dedicated and talented cast it seems effortless. It’s amazing to be part of such a dedicated and talented team.

“It’s beautiful to be able to celebrate the region and all we stand for here. I’m really proud to be part of a production that’s heart lies in the spirit of the North East.

“The driving force for the team has been to create a production that the North East audiences will be proud to call their own.

“The rehearsal process has been a real bonding experience. As actors, we’re often here, there and everywhere and scattered all over the country for long periods of time, not only has this production brought us all together but it has enabled us to share our love of the North East – our home.”

Geordie The Musical is dedicated to director Jackie Fielding, who passed away earlier in the year and was due to direct the show.

Mike Turnbull is the musical director, the set has been produced by Kate Urwin, James Henshaw is the lighting designer, and the costumes have been created by Lou Duffy.

The show runs at the Customs House until September 5. Tickets, from £10, are available from The Customs House box office on 454 1234 or at www.customshouse.co.uk