Preview: Beauty and the Beast at the Customs House

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A FAMOUS fairytale will be brought to life at The Customs House tonight.

Beauty and The Beast, which is being performed by the Alnwick-based Northumberland Theatre Company, will be the South Shields venue’s first performance of 2011 and launches the highly-anticipated spring season.

The famous story, which was given a Disney makeover in 1991, tells the story of a Beast who must find love before the last petal falls of a cursed rose.

Penned by Mike Kenny, one of the UK’s most prolific and successful children’s playwrights, the show is suitable for children aged six and up, and is guaranteed to both warm your heart and send shivers up your spine.

The award-winning writer enthuses: “I’m fascinated by fairytales – they don’t follow the rules of other stories and can take some pulling apart and retelling.

“Often the male characters are distant figures, but in Beauty and the Beast, the male is the central character – a perceived baddy who turns out to be the hero – a much more interesting character than a swashbuckling prince.”

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer said: “NTC have been regular visitors to The Customs House for many years now and their work is always of a high standard.

“Beauty and The Beast promises to continue that trend.”

* Beauty and The Beast is on tonight at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £13, £12 concessions, £44 family ticket and are available by calling the box office on 454 1234 or by visiting

Katy Wheeler