Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Men of the Tyne at the Customs House

RIVER FLOW ... from left, Customs House director Ray Spencer, Ian Ravenscroft, Andrew Hagan, Ted Cuskin and Tom Kelly.

Tyne-inspired play heads for dry land

Paul Kelly
20 June 2012

AN arts project based on the history of the Tyne is heading for dry land.

Men of the Tyne was a sell-out success when it was staged on the cruise ship Fortuna from South Shields to Newcastle and back last autumn.

The production featured a film, songs and stories – all inspired by men who had worked on the river.
Jarrow-born playwright Tom Kelly, who wrote stories and lyrics for the show, was delighted at the positive response to the work.

Now Men of the Tyne is to be staged in a one-off performance at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Friday, August 17.

It will feature monologues from Mr Kelly, the showing of an accompanying film made by Andrew Hagan and Tyne-based songs performed by songwriter Ian Ravenscroft, singer Ted Cuskin and organist Ron Smith.

Mr Kelly, who wrote the Tom and Catherine musical, among many others, said: “The response to the original production on the Tyne was so positive that it was clear there was a demand to put on a more ambitious stage show, and there was no more appropriate venue than the Customs House, where the project originated.

“I have written new songs with Ian Ravenscroft to expand on the original concept and make it bigger and, hopefully, better. One of the delights of the original production on the river was the number of former Tyne workers who came to see it. We’re hoping to see more former seafarers in August.

“The river itself is so inspiring, as are the men who worked upon it.”

The show features the songs Ghosts of the Tyne, This River and The Blacksmith’s Song, among others.

Tickets for the production are £14.50, which includes the price of a meal at the Mill Dam venue served from 6.30pm, with the show itself starting at 8pm.

To book a ticket, call the venue’s box office on 454 1234



  1. A day out from the home...

  2. Tom looks like he needs a pint.