Theatre fun is a picture perfect hit in South Shields

South Tyneside theatre-goers got plenty of '˜selfie' satisfaction - thanks to a picture perfect guide to capturing your best side.

Lesley Guy and Elizabeth Keen from The Customs House (back) with Hassan Bhatti (left) and Saranne Bulman (right)  at the selfies workshop
Lesley Guy and Elizabeth Keen from The Customs House (back) with Hassan Bhatti (left) and Saranne Bulman (right) at the selfies workshop

A fun-packed workshop giving people a flash of inspiration was held at the Customs House, in South Shields, as part of the week-long Takeover Festival at the culture spot.

The forward-thinking festival has been organised by a team of 15 to 24-year-olds and showcases the work of young creative talents keen to make an impression in the arts.

The event kicked off on Bank Holiday Monday with a music-themed day boasting a rich array of live performances and workshops.

Tuesday was comedy and visual arts day, during which the selfie workshop was held.

Elizabeth Kane, Customs House Learning Officer, said: “Most of us are guilty of snapping multiple selfies to get a really flattering photo.

“This workshop, chosen by the Takover team, encouraged people to reimagine themselves and explore photography.

“Together we crafted animal eyes, a range of hip moustaches and beards, cowboy chins, bow-ties, glasses and designer noses.  

“Selfie’s are a fun way to think about artists’ self-portraits.


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“It was great to see what they came up with.”

The week of entertainment continued with a day dominated by dance today, with a Wii dance off and a breakdance workshop.

Film day takes centre stage tomorrow, with an animation workshop for 10-16 year olds and a film quiz organised by the Customs House’s own film group Custom Reels.

Young film-maker Gavin Coates will host a sound effect session, while the highlight of the event will be the presentation of the The Custom Reels Short Film Awards, hosted by Game of Thrones star Ben Crompton and judged by local TV stars Chris Slater and Samm Haillay.


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The festival concludes on Friday with a focus on drama, including a theatre design workshop, a poetry competition in honour of former Gazette reporter Terry Kelly, and two performances from the Customs House Youth Theatre.

Daniel Clifford, Cultural Development Officer at the Customs House, has helped to organise the festival: “The week is going really well, and we’ve had plenty of young people attending, which is great. The team behind The Takeover has worked so hard to make it happen, it’s good to see their commitment and dedication pay off.

“We aimed to have something for everyone, no matter what area of arts and culture you’re interested in, and hopefully we’ve achieved this.”