South Shields introduces Swedes to panto

A theatre in South Shields has made it their job to bring the British love of pantomime to the Swedish people.

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Panto Dame's parting Swedish gift

Dame Bob Stott is giving his parting gift of pantomime to the Swedish people after 37 years of treading the boards Credit: ITV

Bob Stott, South Shields' much-loved and well-known pantomime dame, is hanging up his bloomers after nearly forty years of treading the boards.

The panto legend is not just handing over the traditions to a younger generation though, as the theatre company's influence is set to spread to Sweden.

The Customs House in South Shields has forged a relationship with our swedish cousins after a visit to the icelandic nation to spread the panto message.

"While hanging up my brassiere and bloomers will be a sad occasion, I'm delighted to be taking part in this year's pantomime and handing over the tradition, not only to Ola and Mia, but hopefully to a whole nation of people - that will be a wonderful legacy."

  • Bob Stott, Customs House's Dame Dotty

British panto comes to Sweden

Pantomime is practically unheard of in Sweden, a nation more well-known for their flat pack furniture and ABBA, so the cast of one production has made it their mission to spread the importance of panto to the icelandic nation.

The Customs House theatre in South Shields has forged a relationship with the Swedish people after visiting Gothenburg earlier this year and presenting a short pantomime workshop to them, going on to accept two Swedish actors in its current performance of Dick Whittington.

Ray Spencer, MBE, decided to make the trip to panto trip to Sweden after he learnt that there was no type of family theatre in the country.

"What was thrilling was seeing how quickly the audience 'got it' and in turn the reaction of the actors to the audience participation - they wanted to know afterwards when we had rehearsed the audience!"

– Ray Spencer, MBE, Customs House Theatre

"It's extremely exciting to see such a special part of Britishness being exported to Sweden ande developed with our Swedish partners."

– Caroline Theobald, Honorary Consul for Sweden for the North East of England

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