South Shields theatre-goers can pay what they like for shows

Ray Spencer is inviting supporters of the Customs House to pay what they want for its latest shows.
Ray Spencer is inviting supporters of the Customs House to pay what they want for its latest shows.

Supporters of a South Tyneside theatre are being invited to pay what they think its latest series of shows are worth.

The Customs House, in South Shields, is launching a series of seven shows, called Custom Made.

The Customs House prides itself in having very loyal supporters and we’re thrilled to be able to give back to our Friends of the Customs House by offering them this opportunity to see shows without paying anything up-front and to be able to feed back to us their thoughts on this new and exciting initiative.

Ray Spencer, Customs House executive director

The productions have been hand-picked by the Customs House’s programming team to challenge perceptions of what theatre really is, and to bring award-winning drama to the Mill Dam theatre.

Friends of the Customs House will be able to book their tickets for free then pay however much they feel the performance was worth.

Theatre bosses say the aim of the initiative is to give audiences the opportunity to try out something new without worrying they’ll feel out of pocket if they don’t enjoy it.

The venue’s executive director, Ray Spencer, said: “The Customs House prides itself in having very loyal supporters and we’re thrilled to be able to give back to our Friends of the Customs House by offering them this opportunity to see shows without paying anything up-front and to be able to feed back to us their thoughts on this new and exciting initiative.

“I myself am looking forward to seeing these renowned artists on the Customs House stage and hearing just what our audiences think of our new-look drama season.”

The season launches next month with The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence, directed by Paulette Randall, associate director for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, on September 26.

It will be followed by You, Me and Everything Else on September 30 and October 1, Beats North on October 4, One Last Waltz on October 14, Confirmation on November 6, The Bogus Woman on November 9, and Be Brave and Leave for the Unknown on November 20 and 21.

Ray added: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring the very best drama from the very best companies to the Customs House.”

For details and to buy tickets, go to www.customshouse.co.uk, or call box office on 0191 454 1234.

To become a Friend of the Customs House, contact Angela Hannon on 0191 427 8183.