West End hit takes centre stage in Jarrow

A murderer mistaken for a messiah will be on the loose as a big-screen blockbuster hits the stage in South Tyneside this week.

The talented team at Jarrow Musical Theatre will be treading the boards all the way to Louisiana to give a new lease of life to West End hit Whistle Down the Wind.

The 1961 film turned Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical has proved a ‘labour of love’ for the South Tyneside thespians – who can’t wait to raise the curtain on a three-day production run tomorrow.

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The popular production – which has been reprised across the country since it first hit the stage in 1998 – tells the tale of townspeople on the hunt for a killer, who a group of children harbour, believing he is Jesus.

While the iconic film was set in Lancashire, the theatre production moved the story across the pond to Louisiana in the United States.

Director Michelle Coulson said: “ I sincerely hope people enjoy our interpretation of this beautiful story, it has been a labour of love for both Freda Carney, Musical Director, and I, and I’m personally thrilled to be given the opportunity to direct it. The whole company have worked very hard to bring this complex score and dramatic book to life and I thank them for their dedication and commitment. The children, most of them new to performance, have been a pleasure to work with and a hope that their involvement gives them memories to treasure forever.”

Tickets for the show, which runs from 7pm on Wednesday to Friday, and at 1pm and 5.30pm on Saturday cost £10 – apart from Wednesday tickets, which are £9. To book, call 0191 417 3888.