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Make waves in silly sailor's crew; What's On Editor GORDON BARR has news of the return of a much-loved children's favourite to Tyneside this August search of always "along they our songs, Follow Gordon Barr @GORDONBARRCHRON.

Gordon THIS August sees the return of Silly Simon, a South Shields sailor sailing the seven seas.

Follow @GORDONBARRCHRON Silly Simon, a character created by North East actor/writer and director Wayne Miller, goes off in search of lost treasure this summer at the Customs House.

On his adventure, which runs at the venue from August 11 to 13, he will need the help of all those who follow him on his swashbuckling journey.

Well known at his home town venue the Customs House in South Shields, Wayne has built up a back catalogue of children's theatre productions, such as Wendy The Witch, The Three little Pigs and his successful Santa's Naughty Elf.

With his unique brand of children's shows, Wayne always follows one golden rule. "It's interactive, that's the one thing I always insist on," he says.

Barr "We want to bring the audience along with us and make them feel they are the most important part of our shows. They join in with the songs, they guide us with decisionmaking and they help solve puzzles. All this makes our productions that little bit more special."

Starting with Santa's Naughty Elf eight years ago, Wayne began carving a career in creating children's theatre.

That first show started off what has now become a regular fixture at The Customs House and something that is building up a very good reputation.

"In my years training as a performer I always found it easier to act the fool and get a reaction for silly antics," he says. "This led to enjoying many years in panto, both in touring the North East and at The Customs House.

"It was the success in this field that brought Customs House director and friend Ray Spencer to bring me in to create a panto for the under sevens audiences over Christmas. Something that was a little shorter, fun and had songs they can join in with. Santa's Naughty Elf was the result."

From the success of Santa's Naughty Elf, the pair realised there was a demand for children's theatre. They began to look at programming in the school holidays to capitalise on providing holiday entertainment at the venue. This lead to the birth of new shows and some of Wayne's characters, like Wendy the Witch and Silly Simon the Sailor.

"For Simon I wanted to have a character like Santa's Naughty Elf that I could perform out of the Christmas season. "With South Shields being a seaside town and a once famous port I thought about a character who'd be a sailor. Only this sailor wouldn't be very good, meaning he could get into many scrapes and misadventures. He began last year learning how to sail, this year he has set sail and goes in search or treasure."

" The return of Silly Simon the Sailor hopes to continue the success of Wayne's The Three Little Pigs which played to packed out audiences earlier this year. Both he and theatre boss Ray promise to keep offering great family holiday entertainment"The audience can expect lots of silly jokes, songs and swashbuckling fights. It's a show that's very interactive with its audience, lots of participation to help Simon find the treasure and defeat the evil Captain Bugeye.

"The audience can also see the return of Lauren Waine, a fabulous actress who appeared in Santa's Naughty Elf before leaving to train at Paul McCartney's drama school LIPA. I'm excited to be working alongside such a talented young actress again. She plays the tough but caring Sally Clatterbang."

Silly Simon the Sailor & The Lost Treasure is at The |Customs House in South Shields from August 11 to 13. Tickets PS7.50 & PS6.50. To book call the box office on 0191 454 1234 or visit


Silly Simon the Sailor & The Lost Treasure, which is coming to |South Shields Customs House. Wayne Miller as Silly Simon and Lauren Waine as Sally Clatterbang

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 28, 2015
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