Generous theatre-goers raise thousands for charity at The Dolly Mixtures at the Customs House

Generous theatre-goers in South Tyneside raised almost £3,000 for charity during the run of a popular stage musical.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 7:00 am
The original Dolly Mixtures on stage at The Customs House

Bucket collections were held at each performance of The Dolly Mixtures, which was recently staged at The Customs House, and a grand total of £2,855 was raised for Cancer Research UK.

The musical is based on the real-life story of a group of North East women determined to help fight cancer.

They formed a variety act and toured the male-dominated social clubs of the region in the 1970s and 1980s, juggling their performances with work and family life and battling sexist attitudes to become one of the most in-demand acts on the circuit.

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Every penny they made went to Cancer Research UK and over the years, they swelled the charity’s coffers by £100,000.

Their determination inspired the audiences at the South Shields’ theatre who generously threw cash into the buckets at the end of each performance during the 10-day run last month.

The original Dolly Mixtures, Hilda Joyce, Margaret Graham, Doris Ashcroft, Sylvia Nichols, Jean Smith, Liz Errington, Joan Lumsdale and Betty Dickinson formed an unbreakable bond during their 14 years together and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cancer Research UK.

Margaret Fleck, whose late husband, Ken, inspired the women’s fundraising mission after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, said: “We were thrilled that the collection of loose change from the generous customers of The Customs House reached £2,885 for Cancer Research UK, it being our favourite charity for all our lives.

“It was a glorious and joyous show and to be invited onstage with the superb and talented cast was humbling yet wonderful.

“To be given such an accolade for something we worked for and committed to all those years ago made us feel very happy and so proud.”

The Dolly Mixtures was directed and choreographed by West End and TV star Mina Anwar, in her directorial debut.

Kathryn Leverett, Cancer Research UK’s are fundraising manager, said: “We are truly grateful to everyone who supported this sensational show and to all the volunteers who collected and those who generously donated.”