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Stage Editorial

ali18.jpg The Greatest of All Time? In Shields?

A new musical coming to the Customs House uses the backdrop of Muhammad Ali’s visit to South Shields to tell the story of Joe Kelly, who is attempting to impress his dad and win the girl next door.

The region played host to some of the world’s most famous people in 1977 including the Queen (who opened Eldon Square) and US President Jimmy Carter (who pronounced “Howay the Lads”), but arguably the most famous of the lot was world boxing champion Muhammad Ali. In this new musical from the award-winning team who brought you Dance to Your Daddy, we follow the fortunes of Joe Kelly who can’t believe his luck. His sporting hero is coming to South Shields and he’s got a great idea. It’s set to get everyone talking and make his dad proud. He’ll impress his mates and, maybe, Maya, the girl next door. There are just a few obstacles to overcome however. He’s no boxer, his dad can’t stand fighting, and the Queen might thoroughly upset the apple cart. But his plan might work, his dream might come true – all he needs is a little bit of help from The Greatest.

The Day Muhammad Ali Came to South Shields, Tuesday 6 March-Saturday 10 March, Customs House, South Shields, 7.30pm (Sat mat 2.30pm), £10. customshouse.co.uk