What’s coming up at the Custom House as they celebrate their 25th anniversary

The Customs House, South Shield, has unveiled its anniversary spring programme as theatre bosses aime to celebrates the venue’s 25th birthday in style.
Limehouse LizzyLimehouse Lizzy
Limehouse Lizzy

Over the next two months there are already a number of shows which have already sold out - including Abba tribute act Thank Abba for the Music and Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice’s Dance is Life, with Luba Mushtuk.

The sell-out trend follows several shows which proved to be box office hits in January and February, with a full house present at comedian Adam Rowe, musical theatre group Collabro, former SAS member Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham and One Night in Cooksonville.

Stayin Alive,Stayin Alive,
Stayin Alive,
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In the coming months, a selection of The Customs House’s most popular productions are being brought back to celebrate its quarter of a century as an arts and entertainment venue, including Tom & Catherine and When the Boat Comes In.

Ray Spencer, Executive Director of The Customs House, said: “Over the past 25 years, The Customs House has had a number of shows that could be regarded as iconic.

“As part of our anniversary year, we’re absolutely delighted to be bringing back a selection of our ‘greatest hits’ to enjoy once again.

“The poignant and heart-wrenching story of Tom and Catherine Cookson returns to our theatre from March 5 for a run of shows.

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Opera Boys
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“Written by Tom Kelly and myself, with music by John Miles, it received a rapturous reception with rave reviews across the board in 1999 and we’re sure it will bring the house down once again when the South Shields Gilbert & Sullivan Society perform it.

“Due to phenomenal public demand, we’ve invited Jack Ford back to do it all over again. When the Boat Comes In opens on March 13, ahead of When the Boat Comes In: The Hungry Years later in the year.”

Other events that form part of the 25th anniversary celebrations include the Primary School Music Festival from Monday, March 18, to Thursday, March 21, featuring 25 schools, 33 choirs and more than 1,100 children.

The celebrations continue as The Customs House Youth Theatre marks its 10th anniversary with performances of How to Explode, by Alex Oates, performed by the senior section and Bite Me, written by Reece Connolly, performed by the junior section.

Tom & CatherineTom & Catherine
Tom & Catherine
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Jason Cook’s Comedy Club returns on Saturday, March 2, and Saturday, April 6, with adult comedy also coming in the shape of The Revenge of Tommy on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11, featuring Tommy the Trumpeter.

Music highlights include Bee Gees tribute act Stayin’ Alive, Simply Westlife, Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Ready, Steady Girls, Limehouse Lizzy and Opera Boys in March. They are followed in April by Memory Lane, which features songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, On Tour With Elvis and Johnny Cash Roadshow.

Family entertainment includes There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Sooty’s Magic Show, Arbuthnot and Pals’ Super Happy Silly Mega Fun Gameshow and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Show.

Other theatre highlights include comedy crime caper Strangers on a Train Set, from the celebrated LipService Theatre, one-woman show Diana Dors: Her Story and panto-based comedy Oh No It Isn’t.

For more information, contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.