Society to celebrate

A BOROUGH operatic society will begin celebrations for its centenary year this weekend.

Whitley Bay Operatic Society is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and there will be launch of balloons in the town centre to mark the start of the celebrations.

The society, one of only a handful of theatre companies to reach this historic achievement, will hold the launch from noon to 2pm from the clock tower opposite Greggs.

Observers will have the opportunity to purchase a slip detailing return information which will be attached to a balloon and released.

The first balloon returned that has travelled the furthest will win a family ticket to the society’s next show, Oliver!

As a thank you for celebrating with them, the society will also be giving away discount vouchers for the production for everyone who takes part, so no one goes away empty handed.

Society chairman Stephen Mason said: “It is quite an achievement really; Whitley Op’s have been such a big part of the coastal community for such a long time and they have brought joy and entertainment to thousands. “It would be fantastic to see as many people from the community in the audience for Oliver! to celebrate this achievement with the society.”

Since its humble beginnings in church halls, the society has survived two world wars and is still going from strength to strength, taking residency in the Playhouse Whitley Bay.

Rehearsals are in full swing for Oliver!, which will be on at the Playhouse Whitley Bay from April 5 to 10, with matinees on the Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for the show are available from or by calling the box office on 0844 277 2771.