Play coming to X Factor star Joe’s home town

Shing star ... Louis Roberts as Julian King in Star Quality, which is coming to the Customs House.
Shing star ... Louis Roberts as Julian King in Star Quality, which is coming to the Customs House.

A NEW play about Saturday night reality shows is coming to the home of X Factor winner Joe McElderry.

Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) is set to tour Star Quality next month, and will bring it to the Customs House at South Shields.

It tells the tale of 20-year-old Geordie singer Julian King, played by Louis Roberts, who is hotly tipped to win the glittering Saturday night TV spectacular Star Quality.

But he flees the production company that is owned by super-impresario Martin Powell.

Writer Barry Stone said: “The play has a serious subtext, but, as directed by Gillian Hambleton, will sparkle with Saturday night glitter and vitality. Plus it contains wonderful songs from the 60s and 70s.

“For years I’ve enjoyed watching the big Saturday night shows with my partner Paul, and through doing this, I started to wonder ‘could I write a play where the real audience is also the audience of the show where all the action is happening? A show within a show.’ I began to feel uncomfortable that whilst two nasty wars are grinding on and on, we make heroes out of Saturday night singers.”

Westoe star Joe, 19, worked at the Customs House and appeared on stage there many times before going on to win the 2009 ITV show.

Barry added: “I’ve had half a dozen semi-professional stage plays performed, but Star Quality is my first fully-professional stage commission and Northumberland Theatre Company has treated me wonderfully.

“I’m very proud to be working with it.”

Star Quality kicks off its tour at the Alnwick Playhouse on Friday, February 25, and will appear at venues across the UK before coming to the Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Tuesday, March 8.

For details, call the box office on 454 1234.

verity.ward@northeast-press.co.uk