South Shields theatre director dies after collapsing during The Man and the Donkey show at Customs House

Jackie Fielding has died after collapsing backstage during The Man and the Donkey.
Jackie Fielding has died after collapsing backstage during The Man and the Donkey.

A theatre director who collapsed backstage during a show in South Tyneside has passed away in hospital.

Jackie Fielding lost her life last night at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where she was receiving treatment following a brain aneurysm.

Her body of work will long be remembered by theatre goers across the North East.

Ray Spencer, Customs House executive director

The 47-year-old, who lived in South Shields, was found collapsed last Wednesday night just after the curtain had gone up for the play The Man and the Donkey, at the Customs House in South Shields.

Jackie, originally from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, had just finished giving notes to the actors and was heading to the front of the theatre to watch the show when she fell over.

An ambulance was called, and she was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields before being transferred to the RVI.

Ray Spencer, executive director of the Mill Dam theatre, today paid tribute to her.

He said: “Jackie was an immensely talented performer and a terrific director who had made the Customs House her home and who had adopted our community.

“She was an absolute inspiration to so many performers, writers and fellow directors and had recently produced some terrific work which told the story of a hero of the First World War with The Man and the Donkey.

“Her body of work will long be remembered by theatre goers across the North East and the way she helped so many young performers develop and progress in the business that she had loved her entire life.

“She’ll remain a much-loved member of the Customs House family.”

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp