Waiting for Gateaux returns to Customs House in South Shields

Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Full Cast.
Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Full Cast.

A comic play about slimmers is on the menu at a South Tyneside theatre.

Waiting for Gateaux is being staged at the Customs House this week.

Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Sarah Boulter as Raven and Laura Lonsdale as Jackie.

Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Sarah Boulter as Raven and Laura Lonsdale as Jackie.

The show, by South Shields playwright Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, runs at the Mill Dam venue, in South Shields, from tomorrow until Saturday, following performances in Australia, New Zealand and two UK tours.

The story follows a group of slimmers as they try to shed pounds – and ponder life’s problems.

Director Gareth Hunter said: “It’s a comedy about a group of people at a weight loss group that aren’t having many successes.

“They’re not great at slimming but the story is more about their friendship and the way they support each other through the other things going on in their lives.

Even if you’re the fittest person ever, you can still relate to the problems that these people are going through.

Gareth Hunter

“I’ve been to Slimming World myself so I know what it’s like to be weighed in front of everyone, emptying everything out of your pockets and taking your shoes off to try and get the total down, but also the way everyone supports each other.

“And that’s what the characters are like in this show, they don’t really go because they want to lose weight, they go for the friendship.”

Lisa Riley, best known for her role as Mandy Dingle in ITV soap Emmerdale, once starred in the show.

She got in touch with Gareth to say what she loved about it.

Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Paul Dunn as Donald and Philippa Lyall as Maureen.

Waiting For Gateaux at the Customs House, South Shields. Paul Dunn as Donald and Philippa Lyall as Maureen.

She said: “Waiting for Gateaux is a wonderfully clever piece. We toured for five months and everywhere we went audiences and critics loved the play.

“What I love about it is that it is a satirical play, set in a slimming club with one cycle, one yoga mat, one exercise ball and one muscle stretcher on stage it’s about four seriously dysfunctional people who come to the club more out of loneliness than a desire to lose weight. They are there to make friends and have a gossip.

“It’s a great girls night out and for two hours allows people to realise what life is really about – friendship.”

Gareth, from South Shields, added: “This show is all about the characters and I think it’s one that will really resonate with people.

“Even if you’re the fittest person ever, you can still relate to the problems that these people are going through.” Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm each night as well as a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday, cost £13 (£11 concession).

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