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Tributes pour in for South Shields director who died after collapsing during show

Jackie Fielding has died after collapsing backstage during The Man and the Donkey.
Jackie Fielding has died after collapsing backstage during The Man and the Donkey.

Tributes have poured in for a popular theatre director who passed away after she collapsed backstage during a show in South Tyneside.

Jackie Fielding lost her life on Tuesday night at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where she was receiving treatment following a brain aneurysm.

The 47-year-old, who lived in South Shields, was found collapsed last Wednesday night just after the curtain had gone up for the play The Man and the Donkey, at the Customs House in South Shields.

Jackie, originally from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, had just finished giving notes to the actors and was heading to the front of the theatre to watch the show when she fell over.

Her brother, Geoff Smith, says the family has been comforted by knowing how well loved and respected Jackie was.

The 61-year-old, of Barrow, said: “It’s amazing to know how many people she touched. In many ways, everyone that she came across was very friendly with her and has paid tribute to her. That’s been a huge comfort for the family.

“She was my baby sister. I was 13 when she was born and we’ve always been very close. Jackie was also very close to my wife and children, and their children, and she always encouraged them to get involved with singing and theatre.

“This has all come as a big shock and it happened very suddenly, Jackie was fit and healthy.”

He added: “Jackie loved South Shields and she chose it as her home, so it’s very comforting for us to know that she made such a big impact here and was so well-loved.

“Her partner, Jeff, passed away suddenly a few years ago. He was taken into hospital and never left, and she never quite got over that. She’s going to be terribly missed but it’s nice to know her memory will live on.”