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Jarrow writer brings radio play to stage for the first time

Alex Ferguson (right) with actors Paul Dunn and Georgia Nicholson in rehearsals.
Alex Ferguson (right) with actors Paul Dunn and Georgia Nicholson in rehearsals.

A Jarrow-born writer who is nearing his 88th birthday shows no sign of slowing down - with one of his original plays set to be performed at a local theatre next week.

Alex Ferguson, who wrote the Radio 4 series, My Uncle Freddie, has adapted the trilogy for the stage, with the show set to be shown at the Customs House, South Shields.

Andrew Finnigan and Gerogia Nicholson as Lecky and Mam;

Andrew Finnigan and Gerogia Nicholson as Lecky and Mam;

Set in 1930s Jarrow and based on Alex’s own experiences of growing up during The Great Depression, My Uncle Freddie follows the antics of 10-year-old Lecky and his imaginative Uncle Freddie.

Back in 1966 the play - which ran for six seasons - won the won the comedy/light entertainment (radio) category at the Writers’ Guild Awards.

And now it looks to delight the audience one again when it takes to the stage for the first time from Tuesday, July 17, until Saturday, July 21.

Alex, who still spends three hours a day at his writing desk, worked with The Customs House on the adaptation.

The experienced writer has worked in radio, television and film, but says he feels at his most free when writing books and is busy working on one now.

He said: “It is going to be a lot of fun. 
“It has been very interesting sitting in on the rehearsals.

“The quickest off the blocks were the ladies!

“It deserves to be a success because The Customs House and everyone involved in the production has put a lot of effort into it.
“I am just overawed by the whole thing because I am really a very quiet person.

“I am happiest when I am sitting at the keyboard from 2pm to 5pm every afternoon, peacefully getting on with what I’ve got to do.”

Tickets for My Uncle Freddie are priced from £15 and available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at www.customshouse.co.uk. Performances start at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday.