South Shields theatre in bid to be named UK’s most welcoming

Customs House director Ray Spencer welcoming you to the theatre.
Customs House director Ray Spencer welcoming you to the theatre.

Bosses of a South Tyneside theatre are asking its visitors to help it win a national prize.

The Customs House, South Shields, is in the running to be named the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre 2015.

The Mill Dam venue, comprising a theatre, art galleries, a cinema, restaurant and bar, is soon to celebrate its 21st anniversary.

The building has stood for almost 150 years and once controlled the import and export of goods on the Tyne. Both occasions will be marked next year.

The theatre has played home to Geordie The Musical for the last two weeks.

The North East show was penned by Jarrow playwright Tom Kelly from a story by South Shields ex-pat Andy Bogle, and has received rave reviews and audience reactions, earning many standing ovations.

Customs House executive director, Ray Spencer, said: “Giving a warm welcome to our patrons is incredibly important to us and is at the very heart of the Customs House.

“We often hear people saying it is the welcome they get when they come through our doors which keeps them coming back time and time again.

“We would be delighted and incredibly touched if people took the time to vote for us, and who knows we could be a regional – or even national – winner.”

The award is being run by My Theatre Matters! in association with Smooth Radio.

This year, for the first time, UK Theatre will be announcing 12 regional and national My Theatre Matters! Most Welcoming Theatre Award Winners in the run-up to the UK Theatre Awards ceremony next month.

All regional and national winners will be invited to the UK Theatre Awards ceremony.

The overall winner of the Most Welcoming Theatre prize will be announced at the ceremony at London’s historic Guildhall.

To vote, go to Voting closes on Friday, September 25.