South Shields stage school kicks off panto season with Snow White

Laura Roberts as Snow White and Katie Reid as the Wicked Queen in Performers Stage School's pantomime.
Laura Roberts as Snow White and Katie Reid as the Wicked Queen in Performers Stage School's pantomime.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, it’s almost panto season after all!

Members of a South Shields performing arts school for youngsters are preparing to stage their very first pantomime.

Staging the panto has been great fun as it fuses all the elements our pupils are familiar with in drama, dance and music but they’ve never had to involve the audience and this show has bags of audience participation, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle that extra challenge.

David Ducasse

Talented youngsters from Performers Stage School are bringing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the Customs House, in South Shields.

The cast, aged between six and 18, will be bringing the classic fairytale to life at the Mill Dam venue from Monday, November 9 to Thursday, November 12.

The show has been penned by South Shields playwright Philip Meeks and is being directed by Performers founder David Ducasse and is part of the school’s 15th anniversary celebrations.

David, who represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest as part of pop group Scooch, said: “We have been rehearsing over the half term holidays and it’s looking fantastic.

“This year we are celebrating 15 years of training young talent in the North East but we’ve never staged a pantomime. Everyone loves a classic tale, and Snow White has it all – a beautiful princess forced to flee, a magic mirror, a wicked queen and her feeble henchman Sidney, a handsome prince and of course, seven adorable dwarves, which have provided a great opportunity for our younger pupils to take centre stage.

“And because it’s a pantomime the laughs are provided by Nurse Kitty and her daft son Chuckles the Jester.

“The auditions took myself and the team by surprise as the talent was so great that we couldn’t choose, so we decided to double cast some of the roles so the audience will see a different version of the show whatever night they come.

“The music is brilliant as we’ve been able to pick tunes from the charts as well as musical theatre, film and Disney classics.

“It’s guaranteed to have your foot tapping and your bum wiggling in your seat.”

The show will see Sunderland’s Laura Roberts take on the role of Snow White, while Francesca McGibbon, from Boldon, and Katie Reid, from South Shields, will share the role of the Wicked Queen.

David added: “Staging the panto has been great fun as it fuses all the elements our pupils are familiar with in drama, dance and music but they’ve never had to involve the audience and this show has bags of audience participation, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle that extra challenge.”

The show runs at 7pm each night and tickets cost £11 with a £10 concession or £35 for a family of four.

To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 0191 454 1234.