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Dress to impress04 Nov 2011

The Port of Tyne has teamed up with fashion designer, Paul Shriek, to design a frock for Widow Twankey, better known as Dame Dotty in the South Shields based Customs House's production of Aladdin.

Dame Dotty's dresses are notoriously outrageous thanks to the creative designs of Paul Shriek who is renowned for his avant-garde style.

"Just like any pantomime Dame, Dotty has a big personality. Actor Bob Scott who is Dotty's alter ego has no qualms over the dresses and generally the more inventive the better so the Port is a fantastic subject to work on," said Paul Shriek, who rose to fame as an avant-garde fashion designer of the 1980's.

Making sure that Dotty will be dressed to impress the Port of Tyne decided to work with pupils from St. Peter and St. Paul's RC Voluntary Aided Primary School in South Shields.

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs, Port of Tyne, said: "The Port of Tyne supports arts, business and communities across our area in many ways and one of them is providing support to the Customs House at South Shields, which welcomes thousands of people through its doors every year and makes a huge difference to many people's lives. We were delighted to be able to help in such a creative way. The school children were very excited about being part of this project and they have come up with some fantastic ideas. I am looking forward to seeing the Port of Tyne dress brought to life on stage."

Some pupils aged between 8 and 10 years, took part in the workshop to design the Port of Tyne dress. The dress will include the Port of Tyne's distinctive blue and white logo along with some interesting accessorises that might incorporate the ships, trucks, cranes or containers that form part of the Port's landscape.

Louise Lawson, teacher at St. Peter and St. Pauls said: "The school is just around the corner from the Port so it was great to get involved. The children were so enthusiastic they can't wait to see the dress at the pantomime."

Over 26,000 people during 64 performances of Aladdin will see the dress at The Customs House between November 30 and January 7. Tickets are still available from the box office 0191 454 1234.


For more information please contact Sarah Piggett, Marketing & Communications Intern.
Tel: 0191 455 2671         Mob: 07807 686524         E-mail:

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