Janine Birkett / When the Boat Comes In

Janine Birkett / When the Boat Comes In


The terrific JANINE BIRKETT opens tonight in the World Premiere of WHEN THE BOAT COMES IN at South Shields’ Customs House Theatre playing 16 – 25 August.

Iconic TV drama comes home for its stage debut

To celebrate the centenary of the ending of the Great War, The Customs House has specially commissioned the first stage adaptation of the iconic television drama series, When The Boat Comes In.

The landmark and much-loved series, created by writer and novelist James Mitchell, was the first mainstream TV drama to be set in the North East and at its peak achieved 15 million viewers. The gritty drama explores the struggles of life during the inter-war years in the mythical Tyneside town of Gallowshield – based on Mitchell’s birthplace, South Shields. The series immediately won national acclaim, but it found a permanent place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of northerners everywhere.

The story begins with Sgt Jack Ford returning from active service in the First World War. Very quickly he discovers that in peacetime, the place he left is still battling against poverty, ill-health, unemployment and discrimination. But Jack hasn’t endured the horrors of war to live a life of misery. He has set his sights on the high life and is determined to get what he wants – whatever the cost…