A MUSICAL set in the heart of South Shields is raising money for one of the town’s most beloved venues.
Dance To Your Daddy is the next community play at the Customs House, in Mill Dam.
Written by David Cooke, from Cleadon, it’s set in South Shields between the 1940s and 1960s.
After originally running at the Westovian Theatre in the town’s Pier Parade in 2013, it will be staged at the Customs House from March 3 to 7, with all proceeds being handed straight back to the venue.
David, a grandad-of-four, said: “It’s based on a play that I wrote about 10 years ago. At the time, we just used Geordie songs, but a friend of mine, Grahame Wright, mentioned that he wanted to compose some music for a play and I suggested working together.
“He wrote some lovely tunes and I put words to them and we fitted them in the play to turn it into a musical.
“When it was at the Westovians, it played to packed audiences and got some lovely feedback, then ended up winning a NODA performance award.
“I’m just thrilled that Ray Spencer got in touch about putting it on at the Customs House.
“It’s very important to support local venues and we’re very lucky to have the Customs House in our town and we have to cherish it because if it was ever to go it would be a huge miss.
“It doesn’t just give a stage to local shows but also brings national tours and big artists to our town and not a lot of places have somewhere like that.”
David, 64, added: “The show is made up of lots of little stories mostly based on what my mother used to tell me about what life was like then, when the women would stand in their pinnies in the back lanes gossiping. Some of the stories were sad but some were a lot of fun.
“But on top of that there’s the story of two friends Mary and Louise and Mary’s son, Jimmy, who as he gets older wants to know about his dad and there’s this mystery revolving around who Jimmy is and where his dad is now.
“We’ve got a fantastic cast and Grahame has produced some wonderful songs, that are accompanied by Kathryn Atack, who is wonderful on the piano and has done a great job with the chorus.
“Everyone from the director to the cast and crew is doing it free of charge so we can raise as much money as possible for the theatre.”
Tickets cost £10 with a £8 concession. To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.