When The Boat Comes In to dock at South Shields’ Customs House once more

The cast of When the Boat Comes In
The cast of When the Boat Comes In

The first stage adaptation of TV drama When the Boat Comes In is set to dock once more at The Customs House – followed by a sequel.

When the Boat Comes In was performed in front of sell-out audiences during its world premiere 10-day run at the Mill Dam theatre in South Shields last month.

Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

Now it’s been announced it will return to the stage in March 2019, followed in September 2019 by When the Boat Comes In: The Hungry Years.

The second instalment will once again be written by Peter Mitchell, the son of James Mitchell, who wrote the much-loved TV series for the BBC.

Peter, who followed his father into a career in writing 40 years ago, said: “When The Boat Comes In was incredibly well-received by The Customs House audience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and there was a real energy in the auditorium. I’m delighted that anyone who missed out first time around is going to get another chance to see it.

“Many of the themes emerging from the drama resonate as clearly now as they ever did and everyone involved in the production was thrilled at the reaction.”

When the Boat Comes In follows the fortunes of Sergeant Jack Ford during the inter-war years on Tyneside. Having endured the horrors of war, he yearns for something more and is determined to get what he wants, whatever the cost.

The original TV show ran for four series between 1976 and 1981 and was ground-breaking for its time, as it was shot on location in the north east and featured local actors, including Sunderland-born James Bolam as Jack Ford.

At its peak, it attracted 15 million viewers and national acclaim, receiving several BAFTA nominations, including two for best drama series.

The stage version of When the Boat Comes In was commissioned by The Customs House to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

It starred Jamie Brown as Jack Ford, Alice Stokoe as Jessie Seaton, Steve Byron as Bill Seaton, Janine Birkett as Bella Seaton, Matthew Howdon as Tom Seaton, Charlie Richmond as Matt Headley, Anna Bolton as Dolly Mather and Sarah Balfour as Mary Routledge/Mrs Scrimgour.

The second part will continue where the first left off, but will stand as a story in its own right.

For tickets for the next instalments, which are running from March 13-17 and September 12-28, 2019, contact the Box Office on Tel 0191 454 1234