South Tyneside's industrial past to be marked in performance

South Tyneside's industrial past will be brought to life in a fascinating show which celebrates the borough's history this weekend.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 11:00 am
The show will premiere on Saturday at The Word, , in South Shields.

‘Down to the River’ will bring together music, poetry and visuals to explore the impact of industrial decline and loss.

The multi-media performance will be premiered at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in Market Place, South Shields, on Saturday.

Tom Kelly

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The show revolves around a character who faces an uncertain future after the loss of the traditional industries.

It was inspired by playwright and poet Tom Kelly’s poem Geordie, which appeared in his collection Dreamers in a Cold Climate, published in 2008.

Work by photographer Kev Howard will also be featured, as well as soundscapes created by North East composer Steve Thompson.

Mr Kelly said: “This multi-media performance gives a voice to those made mute by history.

Tom Kelly

“We feel that the working class has been silenced.

“Major industries, in particular shipbuilding, in the North East have disappeared in our lifetime and little has been said of their loss and the impact upon local communities.

“The Down to the River team is really excited to show their work at the wonderful Word.”

Tickets are £5.50 per person, and the performance will take place in the Catherine Cookson Room at The Word between 2pm and 4pm.

For more information and to book tickets, visit For more, go to, or @theword_uk on Twitter.