Stars take South Tyneside’s panto to their hearts

Steffen Peddie.
Steffen Peddie.

The ‘little panto with the big heart’ returns to South Tyneside tomorrow – and there’s a whole host of big names getting behind it.

Alice in Wonderland is this year’s festive treat at the Customs House, South Shields, and runs until January 9.

Melanie Hill.

Melanie Hill.

As part of the launch, the theatre has been inviting people to get their picture taken with their Wonderland heart.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who co-writes, directs and stars in the pantomime, said: “For many years now we have been known as the Little Panto with the Big Heart and Alice in Wonderland has a real focus on hearts too with the Queen, King and Knave of Hearts.

“Because of that, we have been encouraging our visitors to get pictures taken with our heart.”

He added: “We’ve had lots of people taking part, including some famous faces, and we’d love everyone to support the Little Panto with the Big Heart by having their pictures taken, posting them to our social media and spreading the word about Alice in Wonderland.

Lesley Garrett.

Lesley Garrett.

“The nature of panto is all about getting involved and this is certainly the 21st century way.

“Make sure you get your picture taken with our life-sized characters outside the building too.”

Those posing with the heart include X Factor winner Joe McElderry, Vera star Brenda Blethyn, opera star Lesley Garrett, local comedians Jason Cook and Steffen Peddie, veteran comic Bobby Pattinson and actress Melanie Hill.

Joe McElderry added: “It’s that time of year again – panto season upon us!

Jason Cook.

Jason Cook.

“I would like to wish all the cast in panto at The Customs House in South Shields the best of luck!”

Alice in Wonderland, sponsored by Hays Travel, is at The Customs House until January 9.

Tickets for the pantomime start from £9 and are available from the box office on 0191 454 1234 or from www.customshouse.co.uk

Brenda Blethyn.

Brenda Blethyn.

Bobby Pattison.

Bobby Pattison.

Customs House director Ray Spencer welcoming you to the theatre

Customs House director Ray Spencer welcoming you to the theatre