Geordie gans to Newcastle!

Peter Lathan

Geordie the Musical, which premièred at the Customs House in South Shields in 2015, is to be revived at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

The original cast and crew have returned, with the just one change: Dale Meeks replaces Shaun Prendergast as pub landlord James Melia.

This will be the first time a Customs House in-house production has been performed outside the Mill Dam theatre since the national tour of Get up and Tie Your Fingers, part of the multi-art form tour Follow the Herring, which visited venues in Kings Lynn, Hartlepool, Hull, Grimsby, Great Yarmouth, Margate, Folkestone and Hastings in 2014.

Geordie the Musical is set in the 1890s in a pub run by James and his wife Bella (Viktoria Kay) on the banks of the River Tyne with their daughter, Maggie (Eleanor Chaganis), in a changing time for the North East. The cast also includes Micky Cochrane, Phil Corbitt, Adam Donaldson, James Hedley, Luke Maddison and Donald McBride. It will again be directed by Jamie Brown.

It is written by Tom Kelly, who almost qualifies as the Customs House’s writer-in-residence having had more than 15 plays at the venue, and is based on an idea by Andy Bogle who was born in South Shields but has lived in the USA for more than thirty years, who wanted to celebrate the songs and dialect of his birthplace.

The show features many of the most well-known and popular North East songs, among them “The Water of Tyne”, “Keep Your Feet Still, Geordie Hinny”, “Cushie Butterfield” and “Blaydon Races”.

“We are delighted to be working in association with The Customs House to revive Geordie the Musical,” said Joanne Johnson, director of the Tyne Theatre & Opera House. “It's a wonderful show that transports the audience to North-East life in the 1890s and is the perfect addition to our 150th anniversary celebrations.”