Nostalgic musical about life in South Shields set to hit the stage
Hot on the heels of the box office triumph Dance to Your Daddy, David Cooke and Grahame Wright are back at the Customs House in South Shields with their follow-up show.
Dance Across the Tyne will run at the Mill Dam venue from Tuesday, March 1 to Saturday, March 5.
Director and writer David, said: “We first performed Dance Across the Tyne at the Westovian Theatre in 2002 following on from the success of Dance To Your Daddy.
“Last year we brought Dance to Your Daddy to The Customs House and the audiences loved it, so history repeated itself when Ray Spencer asked us to write another community play.
“It seemed obvious to do Dance Across the Tyne, which we re-wrote and added songs to.
“It’s a show packed with action, humour, masses of mystery and intrigue and a raft of brand new songs, written by myself and Grahame, which ultimately will see you leaving the theatre ready to dance across the Tyne.”
It begins in 1959 when a boatload of Venezuelan sailors land in South Shields. Their impact is dramatic, and involves fights, hospitals, babies, memories, and a mystery that will affect one family for decades.
It’s a powerful story with a variety of brand new songs to follow up Dance to Your Daddy, which won the prestigious Performance Award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association in 2014.
The story concerns a young girl, Jenny, who falls for a young man, Gustavo.
And he falls for her. But sadly he leaves and that’s the end of it ... Or is it? What happened next to Jenny and Gus?
David added: “It was reported in the Gazette, that a large group of girls from Wright’s Biscuit Factory lined the banks of the Tyne to wave the sailors off, many of them saddened by their departure.
“I did some research in the Gazette archives and found that there were 10 proposals of marriage.
“Surprisingly there were no photos of the Venezuelan sailors, so we had to create our own. It’s a great feeling seeing your story come to life on stage especially when 18 actors are involved. Hearing them say and sing my words has made me very proud and fortunate.
“What happened to Gus when he went back to Venezuela? And to everyone else? At its heart is a mystery that takes 40 years to be revealed and solved.
“No show of ours would be complete without reference to the town that makes it all possible. This time round it became clear that we could extol some of the town’s virtues via a song.
“Two of the young girls from the factory decide to take Gustavo on a walk from The Groyne to the Grotto, and we managed to pack in loads of our seaside landmarks.”
Dance Across the Tyne is on sale now. Tickets cost £10 with an £8 concession.
To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 0191 454 1234.