Nic Wright

Classic tale gets new spin at Tyneside theatre

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An award-winning comedy duo are returning to The Customs House next with a new take on an old favourite.

LipService and Oldham Coliseum will present The Picture of Doreen Gray at the South Shields theatre on 24 and 25 February.

The show is a new version of Oscar Wilde’s fantasy thriller The Picture of Dorian Gray, starring Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, together with a supporting cast of local actors in mix of recorded and live action media.

Doreen Gray has it all: a drive time radio show and a high ratings lifestyle programme on Even More 4, but hitting 50, Doreen finds her face no longer fits the bill. At a school reunion she stumbles across a youthful portrait of herself and makes a dark and dreadful pact with the picture.

Riding artistic director of LipService along with Fox, said: “LipService is a comedy duo and we do genre spoofs.

“This is loosely based on Oscar Wilde’s novel but obviously that has a grim outcome but we’re comedians so ours has a happy outcome.

“It’s about Doreen Gray; she’s a radio presenter and she has a show a bit like Top Gear meets Antiques Roadshow.

“The producers decide she’s looking jaded and want a younger model. It’s then she goes to a school reunion.

“It celebrates age and experience, women and life. It’s very funny, there’s lots of brilliant songs and dances and very funny visual gags – which I won’t give away!”

LipService have already brought the successful Inspector Norse, Move over Moriarty and Withering Looks to The Customs House.

Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer, MBE, said: “We’re thrilled LipService are returning to The Customs House and delighted Maggie and Sue will be working with local budding actors too.

“They have been working together and touring shows for almost 30 years and create truly funny theatre. There shows are a must-see for anyone who loves the classics or comedy plays.”

The Picture of Doreen Gray, 24-25 February 2015, The Customs House, South Shields. Tickets £14/£13 concession or £25 for a ticket and a two-course meal in the theatre. Tickets available online or via The Custom House box office on 0191 454 1234.