Young people will take over the Customs House for half term

A leading arts venue is giving youngsters the chance to take over during the half-term holiday.

Action from last years breakdancers jam at the Customs House amphitheatre during the Takeover.
Action from last years breakdancers jam at the Customs House amphitheatre during the Takeover.

The Takeover Festival is returning to the Customs House, in South Shields, in May.

The event will give youngsters, aged from 10 to 25, a chance to run the popular venue, programming shows and events and organising workshops through the week’s holiday.

Daniel Clifford, cultural development officer at the Customs House, said: “Young people will be taking over all the programming for the week, deciding on pretty much everything.

“They’ll be organising performances, shows and workshops for the main auditorium, the studio theatre, the Green Room Bistro, Dalton’s function suite and even the amphitheatre outside the building.”

The fun will begin on the Bank Holiday, Monday, May 30 with a music day.

Daniel added: “We’ve designated a set theme for each day, starting with music on the Bank Holiday.

“There will be songwriting workshops, lots of live performances and we’ll also be showing the hit musical movie Pitch Perfect with some acapella workshops before the film.

“The music workshops will be looking at things like writing lyrics, creating melodies and how to write music for different instruments.

“On the Tuesday we’re having a craft and comedy day, during which we’ll be hosting workshops.

“We’re also working on a comedy panel show idea with local comedian David Callaghan.

“On Wednesday, June 1, we’ll be hosting an urban arts day, which will include a breakdance jam in the amphitheatre.

“We did this last year and it was one of the most possible events of the whole week. We’ll also be having breakdance and graffiti arts workshops.

“Thursday will be a film day, during which we’ll host our Short Film Awards.

“We’ll have some special guests giving talks and hosting workshops, and we’ll be looking at every aspect of film-making, not just acting.

“The Takeover Team will also decide on two films that will be shown each day of the week.

“Friday will be our drama day, a day based around a play written by two members of our popular Customs House Youth Theatre, Jonathon Graham and Andrew Walker.”

Some of the Takeover Team that will run the week are young people who attend Customs House groups like the Youth Theatre and film group Customs Reels.

However, the majority of youngsters involved are from outside of the venue’s own groups.

The team meets next Wednesday (January 27) to take key programming decisions.

The festival’s organisers are still looking for sponsorship of different days or events.

If you’d like to get involved, contact Daniel at [email protected] or ring 0191 427 8193.