Agony aunt comedy play heading for South Shields

COMEDY PLAY ... The Devil Wears Primark is coming to the Customs House, South Shields.
COMEDY PLAY ... The Devil Wears Primark is coming to the Customs House, South Shields.

A COMEDY play about a fearsome mother-in-law is coming to a South Tyneside theatre.

The Devil Wears Primark is on its way to the Customs House, in South Shields.

The show, from award-winning comedy writer Kathleen Ruddy, runs at the Mill Dam venue on Wednesday, April 22 and Thursday, April 23.

It follows manipulative, ageing agony aunt, Aunt Athy, who makes her living giving sex advice on a radio show.

She creates uproar among feminists when she suggests that women belong in the kitchen, and her surly attitude sees her become estranged from her family.

But as she is about to be awarded an MBE for her services to showbusiness, her family are summoned to show their support in front of the media, and she uses the opportunity to attempt to worm her way back into their lives.

Kathleen, who stars as Aunt Athy, said: “The show is all about a dysfunctional family and the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

“Gone are the days of Les Dawson when it was only the men complaining about their mothers-in-law – I don’t know one person who likes theirs.

“I’ve made all of the characters very grotesque and Aunt Athy is sort of based on my own mother-in-law.

“She’s got the feminists up in arms and the suffragettes spinning in their graves because of the things she’s saying on the radio, and she’s estranged from most of her family because of her attitude.

We’re looking forward to coming to South Shields. The people there have the same kind of humour as us Glaswegians.

Kathleen Ruddy, writer and star

“But the night before she’s receiving her MBE, her family have to show face to the media in support of her.

“She’s Greek and when her son shows up with his new Turkish girlfriend she has a lot of things to say about it.”

Kathleen added: “The show is a really good laugh and we’re still wetting ourselves in rehearsals, which is always a good sign.

“We’ve been to Kirkcaldy and Dundee so far on the tour and the audiences have been brilliant.

“We’re looking forward to coming to South Shields. The people there have the same kind of humour as us Glaswegians.

“This will be my first time at the Customs House, but I see it as the birthplace of commercial comedy, so I’m really excited.”

Tickets for the show, which runs at 7.45pm each night, cost £15 with a £14 concession.

To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.

• We’ve got three pairs of tickets to give away for the opening night show.

To be in with a chance of winning, just tell us who Kathleen plays in the show.

Fill out the coupon in today’s paper and send it to Vicki Newman, The Devil Wears Primark, Shields Gazette, Northeast Press, Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland, SR4 9ER.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki