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Support Your Local Amateur Theatre Group

Author: Norma Phillips
Secretary of
Teesside Musical Theatre Company


We hope that Teesside Musical Theatre Company’s (TMTC) reputation will encourage audiences to buy tickets for the upcoming 2017 production of “Spamalot” being performed at Middlesbrough Theatre on 15-20 May 2017. “Spamalot” was aptly described by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as “a pantomime for all seasons”, and our production promises to be spectacular and hilarious, appealing to everyone who wants to leave the theatre feeling thoroughly entertained. The only pain you will experience from this encounter with a “python” is the ache in your ribs from so much laughter.

TMTC were excited to secure the rights to “Spamalot” in 2014 to be the first North East Amateur Company to perform the show. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, tickets sales are likely to be adversely affected by the fact that many people may have already seen the show recently in the local area.

True to the “Spamalot” ethos, we are determined to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, and rehearsals are progressing well. Our Committee and Members endeavour to be supportive of each other and work together to ensure the survival of local amateur theatre. Several members of Teesside Musical Theatre Youth Company are also part of the cast, giving them valuable experience in a full scale production and helping to secure the future of TMTC.

For “Spamalot” TMTC also have a Youtube page with amusing videos providing a taster of the production and showing how much fun the cast is having at rehearsals. Visit the page at and subscribe to receive news of future videos.

We need the support of local audiences to come and join in the fun at Middlesbrough Theatre from 15-20 May 2017 by ordering tickets from our ticket secretaries, Jacquie Kelly (tel: 07712 485211) and Sue Bargewell (tel: 07806 786327) or from the Box Office on 01642 815181. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for Under 14s.

Posted on 28/04/2017

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Ben Crocker Pantomimes

How to Make Great Custard Pies...

I’m often asked about the perfect mixture for custard pies…

So, here is the traditional method. It achieves brilliant results, but it does take a bit of work. The number one benefit is that it looks funnier, because the foam adheres so well to the face. The second benefit is that it won't run to mush in a matter of minutes - it's quite durable and even after a few hours can be re-whisked to a good consistency.

NB. A note of caution. A custard pie is usually to the face. You obviously need to be careful and make sure (as you would with any mixture) that your actors are not allergic to it.

So here goes:

You need one, old fashioned, Palmolive shaving stick.

Grate the stick with a cheese grater into a bucket.

Add a half pint of boiling water.

Mix into a tough paste. (Use an electric drill with a plasterer’s whisk fitment.)

Slowly add water and continue whisking (15 mins or so…)

Stop when you achieve the right consistency – and that’s it! (Oh, and have some cotton buds to hand – if the foam gets into your actor’s ears it will stay there until gently removed.)

A good custard pie routine is always a crowd pleaser. All my scripts have a degree of physical, slapstick comedy, but the ones with cooking routines and custard pies are - Ali Baba and Sleeping Beauty. Both versions of Cinderella and Mother Goose also involve a good degree of gloop... You can check them out, along with all my other titles at:

As always, I’ll be happy to send you free reading copies.

Have a great Easter and all good wishes,

Ben Crocker

Posted on 07/04/2017

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