Stage is set to tip the cabbies

CARRY ON CABBY ... writer Tom Casling with 'Tipp' the taxi driver, Keith Wigham.
CARRY ON CABBY ... writer Tom Casling with 'Tipp' the taxi driver, Keith Wigham.

GENEROUS taxi drivers in Laygate have agreed to hand over their tips to the Gazette’s bid to bail a local hospice out of a cash crisis.

Dial-a-Cab has linked up with playwright Tom Casling for a unique fundraising collaboration.

Tom’s comedy play – ‘Tipp the Taxi Driver’– is being staged at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, from Tuesday, March 20, until Saturday, March 24.

And the taxi firm has agreed that anyone who books a cab to the show will bolster the c/o St Clare’s campaign to help raise cash for the hospice, in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow.

All tips to drivers on any of the five nights will go towards the appeal, which has already raised more than £30,000.

The effort has special significance for Tom, from Durham, whose sister, Catherine Owen, died from breast cancer a year ago.


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The play centres on the life of quiz-show enthusiast – Mr Tipp, the taxi driver – who becomes involved with a younger woman while going through a mid-life crisis.

Tom, 54, a community development worker, said: “It’s a comedy with lots of poignancy. It explores the complex relationships that can develop between the most unlikely of people.

“I didn’t pass my driving test until I was 47, and before that, I used taxis a lot. One thing you can say about taxi drivers is that they are never boring, and I always said I would write a play based around a driver’s life one day.”

Tom added: “I’m grateful to Dial-a-Cab for getting involved. I wanted to help a charity close to the theatre if I could, and St Clare’s seems ideal.

“I also want to thank Tim Flood and the staff at the Customs House for being so supportive in getting the show staged. They have been very helpful.”

The cast of seven features Keith Wigham as Tipp, and actress Alison Beveridge as his young love interest.

Tickets costing £12 and £10 are available from the box office on 454 1234. To book a Dial-a-Cab taxi for the show, call 454 3131.