TV actor heading to South Shields stage

A TV star is set to grace the stage when he heads to South Shields to perform as part of a comedy troupe.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 6:00 am
Stephen Tompkinson is taking part in the Laffalang comedy show next month. Pic credit: John Millard

North East actor Stephen Tompkinson is best known for his role in ITV show DCI Banks and as Danny Trevanion in drama Wild at Heart.

But next month, he will take a place alongside other comedy actors who make up the Laffalang Gang when they hit the stage of the Westovian Theatre.

The showcase, featuring two hours of comedy sketches, stand-up and rib-tickling songs, will be raising funds for Save the Hospital Campaign as well as providing theatre goers with a night of entertainment.

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The show, written by Ed Waugh, who co-wrote Dirty Dusting and is the writer of Hadaway Harry and Mr Corvan’s Music Hall, will be directed by Gareth Hunter.

Tompkinson has already worked alongside members of the Laffalang Gang when he took part in Sunday for Sammy - concerts held in aid of the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund, which benefits young performers.

He said: “I have worked with members of the Laffalang Gang at the brilliant Sunday for Sammy and when I was asked to come along to perform again with them I jumped at the chance.

“It’s for a great cause; it’s important we campaign to save NHS services.

“I’ll be performing in three sketches,” said the Stockton-born actor. “In one of them I get to wear a Middlesbrough strip, which is great as my whole family are Boro fans.

“In another, I interpret the words of Wor Geordie’s Lost His Penka, whatever that is, and I’m the Narrator in the Geordie Nativity, which I performed in at the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in Newcastle Cathedral last December.”

Tompkinson has a number of TV credits to his name including Ballykissangel and, currently, The Split as well as sitcoms Trollied and Drop The Dead Donkey. He has also starred in the films Brassed Off and Harrigan, while his stage work encompasses Spamalot, Charley’s Aunt and a recent number one theatre tour of Art.

Roger Nettleship, chairman of the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign said: “This is a massive coup for us.

“Stephen is a huge star and he’s coming along to help us in our bid to save vital services at South Tyneside hospital.”

The Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign was created in response to a series of proposals put forward by South Tyneside and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Groups which protesters say will see a downgrade of acute services provided at the hospital based in Harton Lane.

The Laffalang shows are on Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are on sale, priced £13, from The Word, in the Market Place, or via the box office on 424 7788 or book online via www.ticketsource.co.uk/westovians