End of The Pier
AWARD-WINNING WRITER BRINGS RE-WORKED VERSION OF CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED COMEDY TO THE CUSTOMS HOUSE
Award-winning playwright Neil Armstrong is busy putting the finishing touches to his latest show at The Customs House in South Shields.
The Washington-based writer, actor and director is bringing a bigger, better version of End of The Pier to the South Shields theatre for a five-night run in August.
The all-new production of the critically-acclaimed comedy promises even more laughs after proving a hit with audiences in June last year.
Set in a tatty end of the pier dressing room in Edwardian England, End of the Pier tells the story of Lionel and Edith Bosh, a music hall double act known as The Lovebirds.
They’ve been married for 25 years, but the love has gone and their only desire now is to kill each other, with each plotting to do so on the same night.
Unfortunately things don’t go according to either of their plans when an unexpected guest arrives in their dressing room.
Neil, who has been writing comedy for theatre and television for over 25 years, said: “I am really pleased the play is going to be staged at The Customs House.”
“I think a lot of theatres overlook comedies as somehow ‘lesser’ works, but thankfully The Customs House has always provided a home for them.”
“I think making people laugh is important – in a funny way.”
He added: “This production will be a new version of the play. I’m currently re-writing the play to fit our new larger environment.”
End of the Pier’s previous outing was a touring production with Cloud Nine Theatre Company, taking in Wallsend Memorial Hall, The Exchange in North Shields, Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, Arts Centre Washington and Durham’s Gala Theatre over six nights.
Gareth Hunter, artistic director of Ion Productions, was keen to bring it to The Customs House, where the cast will include Neil and Zoe Lambert as Lionel and Edith.
He said: “I saw the show last year and really loved it, so I was keen to bring it to a bigger venue.”
“We have revamped it to make it even funnier and because it is in one location now, we can scale the setting and the lighting up to make it look bigger and better.”
“I am looking forward to working with Neil again. He directed Educating Rita last year at The Customs House for me and did a fantastic job on what was a great show.”
Neil’s work has been nominated for awards by BAFTA, The Writers Guild of Great Britain and The National Comedy Awards. His last play, Remember Jim, won Best Show at the 2014 Sunderland Culture awards. He is also co/director, writer and chief pantomime villain of the Gala Theatre pantos.
He added: “I was over the moon when producer Gareth decided to revive the play. I love performing at The Customs House. The audiences are always up for a laugh and hopefully we can supply them with plenty.”
End of the Pier runs from Tuesday, August 22, from Saturday, August 26, with shows at 7.30pm and a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday.
Tickets are £18, or £15 early bird and Friends of The Customs House.
Contact the box office on 0191 454 1234 or visit ww.customshouse.co.uk.