Theatre producer celebrates 10 years in showbiz

BIG YEAR ... Theatre producer Gareth Hunter is celebrating 10 years in the business.
BIG YEAR ... Theatre producer Gareth Hunter is celebrating 10 years in the business.

A THEATRE producer is celebrating 10 years in showbusiness.

Gareth Hunter has been staging shows in the borough for the last decade, entertaining thousands of theatre-goers.

I love theatre. It is an amazing feeling being in a room with an audience absorbed by a show.

Gareth Hunter

The 35-year-old, of Westoe, South Shields, has put on 30 full-scale productions with his company, Ion Productions, beginning with Stags And Hens in 2005.

He said: “I love theatre. It is an amazing feeling being in a room with an audience absorbed by a show.

“My job is to make them believe they have been transported into another world and to have empathy with the story and characters on stage.”

Gareth is marking his 10th anniversary in the business with a production of the comedy Waiting For Gateaux, written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, in June and the world premiere of an adaptation of South Tyneside author Catherine Cookson’s The Cinder Path in September.

Gareth started off in amateur dramatics as a teenager and has since been involved in more than 150 amateur productions as a performer or director, including the last South Shields Customs House pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood, as one of the Three Little Pigs.

As well as putting his own money into productions, Gareth has given many young actors and singers their first big breaks.

Many of the performers he has cast have gone on to greater things, including working on TV and London’s West End, and he is always looking to promote new local talent.

Gareth, producer of the Laffalang events penned by South Shields playwright Ed Waugh, is also working with the organisers of the annual sketch show Sunday For Sammy to offer an upcoming comedy writer the chance to have a sketch featured in it.

He added: “I’m delighted that our work with Laffalang has been recognised by the wonderful Sunday For Sammy. We are working with them this summer to find new writing talent. It’s a huge honour.

“I always look to find ways to promote the community, and charity fundraising is important to me. We have collected thousands of pounds for charities such as St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, the Breast Cancer Campaign and the mayor’s charity.”

Tickets for Waiting For Gateaux, on at the Customs House from Wednesday, June 10, to the Saturday after, cost £13 with an £11 concession.

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

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki