Winner announced of young review competition

The Whitley Bay Customer First Centre and the Playhouse Whitley Bay joined forces to give the centre’s Young User Group the chance to become young reviewers.

The youngsters aged between ten and 17 years old, put on their reporter’s caps to review Whitley Bay Theatre Company’s The Ladykillers.

And ten-year-old Kirsten Downie was announced as the winner with her review appearing in this week’s News Guardian. Below is her winning review, and the reviews from the runners-up.

I think that the Playhouse is very good because inside it has modern facilities, friendly service, nice food and comfy seats.

The facilities were modern because inside the theatre part there are blue LED lights which lit up the stairs, and the seats were very comfy to sit on. I did wonder why there were the odd red seat here and there.

The service was friendly because all the staff, bartenders, ushers and usherettes all smiled and said hello, and had very polite manners.

The food was delicious, and I know this because I had to sample it of course! I had lemonade, nachos and chocolate ice cream which were all very tasty.

The only thing I could think of to improve the Playhouse is to put some dim lights on whilst the play was going on. I thought of this because I ended up getting chocolate ice cream on my jumper (which felt weird in the dark!) Other than that I thought the Playhouse was amazing and I would like to go again soon.

The Ladykillers was funny, exciting with a twist in the tale. A very good production by Whitley Bay Theatre Company.

Kirsten Downie, 10

My first impression of the Playhouse on arriving was that the refurbishments both inside and out of the building had made it a wonderful, light and modern space that the local community could be proud of. The staff were very friendly and helpful in showing me to my seat and once I sat down and the show started I could really appreciate the staggered seating, which meant that no matter where you sat you had a great view of the stage. In the interval many took the opportunity to buy ice cream, and I don’t blame them as it’s delicious! Overall, the night was great fun and the atmosphere from the audience was very positive. This is a great venue for concerts, plays and musicals alike that all of Whitley Bay can enjoy.

Emily Davey, 17

The Playhouse in Whitley Bay is the only one of its kind in the area, which is probably a good thing for the Playhouse at least. It seems to me that the competition would destroy it. Now, while I may not be no ideal demographic for the Playhouse, and the chairs are clearly not designed for gangly teenagers, it seems ridiculous that they would be so low as to be noticeably uncomfortable. This is not something I would usually notice, but it proved to be quite problematic, and it stopped me from being able to enjoy the play. This was my main concern for the Playhouse, and it may have simply been the chair I was assigned. With regards to the actual content and the staff, I was pleasantly surprised. I would not normally go to a play, especially at a small local theatre, but The Ladykillers was very good. The lighting and sound was done very well, even if the speakers occasionally “boomed.” However, these minor technical hitches did not ruin the show, which was definitely worth attending. However, to anyone who does want to go to the show, I would advise that they eat beforehand, to avoid paying through the nose for some cheap chips.

Abe Treumann, 16.

The play itself was both amusing and interesting, with plenty of humour and an excellent plot line. The seats for the viewing were comfortable, and the food was tasty and affordable. The staff were cooperative and quick at their jobs, meaning there were very few queues for food/drinks, and were patient with customers. The overall experience was a very positive one, and one I would like to repeat in the future.

Andrew Hepplewhite, 15

I think that the Playhouse is very good. It is more modern than the old Playhouse and the staff are very friendly. Also the nachos and the ice cream were both amazing! The seats were comfy with a good view, and the temperature was just right. The Play was also great, it was very funny. The Playhouse could be better by having a Question and Answer session with the actors and the audience at the end of the play, but I still enjoyed my evening.

Adam Downie, 12

On Friday 12th April we were lucky enough to be able to see one of the performances hosted by the Playhouse in Whitley Bay as we belong to the library’s Young User Group.

Upon entering the theatre, the welcoming atmosphere in the light-filled hall was the first aspect we noticed.

We were ushered smartly through, the assistant taking little more than a moment to check our tickets, and, impressed, we easily navigated our way past the people selling programmes and the well-placed bar and seating area to the stairs leading to the auditorium door. We settles into our allocated seats as the spaces around us promptly filled before the curtain rose – ‘The Ladykillers’ had begun.

Based upon the unlikely relationship between a little, old lady and a band of “musicians” who couldn’t play a single note, the play offered a great deal of black humour, a host of ‘larger than life’ characters and skilful comic timing which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

During the interval, the staff were friendly and helpful after we encountered a small problem with one of our ice-creams and replaced it without delay after which we settled back into our comfortable seats for the equally entertaining second half. Although we decided to go to see ‘The Ladykillers’, we had a plethora of options for all ages from which to choose, ranging from music concerts to pantomimes.

Finally, another excellent feature of the playhouse was the ample parking nearby, making it easily accessible for people from all over the town and even further afield. I think we can both agree that we would

firmly recommend the Playhouse and are considering booking tickets again ourselves.

Emilie and Izzie Clowry 15 and 13 years