The Port of Tyne is teaming up with The Customs House to support a year-long programme of events and exhibitions at the theatre in South Shields.

The Port has supported the development of The Customs House since 2001 including arts projects, Piers InCargosCoat for a Boat and more recentlySongs from the ShipyardsTyne by Michael Chaplin and the Great North Passion.

The new partnership kicks off with Follow the Herring a project combining singing, arts, crafting and knitting. Follow the Herring is centred on the heritage of East coast fishing towns and communities. Touring from May 2014 it will travel from Musselburgh in Scotland and down England’s East coast, ending in Hastings in August 2014.

The project has been a six-month collaboration with local people, artists and organisations in each town and has culminated in a fabulous exhibition – with the already famous knitted Coat For a Boat as its centrepiece – and a performance of the play Get Up and Tie Your Fingers by Ann Coburn.

The musical play is based on the Eyemouth Fishing Disaster of 1881 when 189 men lost their lives in what remains the worst fishing disaster to ever hit the British Isles.

Ray Spencer MBE, Executive Director of The Customs House, said: The Port of Tyne has been supporting The Customs House for over a decade, and through this support we have been able to bring many performances to hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom may never have been to a theatre before. This continues to allow us to build a thriving local and cultural community here in South Tyneside.

The help towards our current project Follow the Herring has been tremendous, helping to connect with fishing communities in a way which wouldn’t have been possible without the Port of Tyne. The Port is a brilliant example of a thriving business directing time and resources to support the community it serves.

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs at the Port of Tyne, said: The new partnership will span the whole programme in the Port of Tyne Galley at The Customs House and support an exciting and diverse programme in the theatre.Follow the Herring is an amazing celebration of the fishing heritage of local communities in port towns along the East coast. It’s a beautiful production that I hope many people will go along and see.

Catch Follow the Herring before the tour moves on the next venue in King’s Lynn 30 May  “ the exhibition runs until 24 May and tickets are still available for the acclaimed production of Get Up and Tie Your Fingers at The Customs House via the box office Tel: 0191 454 1234.

The Customs House has a combined economic impact of £4 million, engaging with more than 200,000 people through live performance, cinema and gallery and connecting with over 90,000 children and young people and the wider community through participatory sessions throughout North and South Tyneside.

Filed under: News

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