Dale Meeks has joined the fight to save the Customs House from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last few months, with his production company Boyle Yer Stotts, the former Emmerdale star has been releasing audio plays inspired by the crisis.
The series entitled The New Normal includes short stories set in the global pandemic and all recorded under lockdown conditions.
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The latest offering, to be released later this month, will shine a light on British theatre – while raising money for his much-loved hometown venue.
Dale was due to return to the Customs House stage in May with Everywhere We Go, his well-received production inspired by South Shields Football Club’s historic FA Vase victory at Wembley in 2017.
The run has now been postponed until 2021 after the theatre closed in March, cancelling all future shows until further notice.
Instead the team has been producing audio plays from home, allowing audiences to listen for free.
"We’re all struggling in the arts at the moment,” said Dale.
“I had huge plans this year, with potentially two returns to the West End but all of that has gone and even our dates for 2021 are in jeopardy.”
He continued: "We wanted to put something out there that would make people smile and help get them through this time.
"We had the idea of putting on plays inspired by the lockdown because it was just all-consuming.
"The first two have been really well received.”
Ghost Light, which is expected to be released on Sunday, July 26, centres on the current plight of theatre – inspired by the symbolic tradition of leaving a single light on on an otherwise empty stage.
Listeners will be able to donate to the Customs House to help ensure it can reopen its doors when it is safe to do so.
Dale added: “The Customs House is absolutely vital to our town and it needs to be protected.“It brings joy to so many people, we would all miss it if we lost it.”