The Customs House is invested in nurturing North East talent.
Our current open opportunities are below:

We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.
We also encourage first time applications, whether that is because you are new to the industry or haven’t heard of The Customs House before, we’d love to meet you.

How Would You Like To Spend This Christmas
Down At Cooksonville Forest?
Join Our Panto 2022 Cast.




Roll is one half of our knock about pair, Bog and Roll. Roll needs to have good comedic delivery, a good understanding of slapstick comedy and
the desire to build a comedic duo relationship.

  • Strong singing skills and movement are a bonus.
  • Playing age: 18–40 years
  • Height: Any height
  • Gender: Those who identify as female or non-binary
  • Contract info: £550 a week + holiday pay.

Sheriff Of Nottingham

A classic villain, deeply dark, strong singing skills a must.

  • Playing age: 30–60 years
  • Height: Any height
  • Gender: Those who identify as male
  • Contract type: Equity – Above Minimum
  • Contract info: £550 a week + holiday pay

Robin Hood

A jack the lad of the pantomime world. Not a prince, not a pauper but the hero of our story.
Strong movement and singing skills. Desirable: any added skills: acrobats, archery, sword fighting, magic. Any new skills we’d love to see.

  • Playing age: 20–35 years
  • Height: Any height
  • Gender: Those who identify as male
  • Contract info: £550 a week + holiday pay.

Maid Marian

Maid Marian. Not your typical damsel in distress, finds her place with the Merry Men and can fight her own battles!
Desperately trying to get away from the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham, will she find who she really is in Sherwood Forest? Strong singing and movement skills required.

  • Playing age: 20–35 years
  • Gender: Those who identify as female
  • Contract info: £550 a week + holiday pay.

Important: All applicants must have a base within 30 miles of NE33
To register your interest, and request an audition, please email: [email protected]

Closing date: Friday 20th April


Auditions are open for Down the Lines –
The Takeover’s Play for 2022

In 2022 we will build on the success of our previous Takeover Young Writers in Residence by creating an exciting development opportunity for eight young actors aged 17 to 25 years old from the region.

Following on from the successes of Reece Connolly’s WORMTOWN, Elijah Young’s Isolation, and Journal Culture Award Nominated Cherryade Supernova by Andrew Finnigan, comes Down the Lines by Owen Saunders.  This will be directed by Chloe Millar, with Kieron Michael as Assistant Director.

We are delighted to be casting for Down the Lines which will be staged on Friday 3 June at 7.30pm in the Main House, The Customs House as part of Takeover 2022.

About the play

The old railway lines at the edge of town haven’t seen trains for decades, but that doesn’t mean they’re unoccupied. More often than not you’ll find local rough lad, Sean, getting high down there and keeping to himself. But he’s not the only one with something to run away from.

Over the course of a day, Sean meets several other young people who have wandered astray, all struggling with their complicated relationships to home and to each other. Taking on the role of guide for their trip down the lines, Sean helps these fellow lost souls reflect on life in their hometown and, in turn, is forced to confront his own demons.

In a place filled with ghosts and runaways, it only takes one journey down the lines to gain a new perspective on life in the North East.

About the writer

Owen is an aspiring writer and performer from Birtley, Tyne and Wear and currently based in Leeds. He was heavily involved with local amateur theatre in his teens before studying English Literature at the University of Leeds.

He has always loved all kinds of writing, but his experience with theatre at university, particularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, inspired him to focus on writing for the stage. He believes passionately in the importance of local voices, slang and vernacular for capturing an authentic portrayal of North East life.

Down the Lines is Owen’s first writing commission. He hopes it can help to kickstart other serious writing work in the future.

The roles are as follows:

Sean: 19. An unemployed school drop-out who lives half at his Mam’s and half down the lines. A colourful character who rolls with life’s punches but has a dark home life that he disguises with good humour.

Miles: 22. An obsessive jogger with a not-so-great temper. A tense relationship with his girlfriend at home causes him to lash out, so he goes for long runs to cool off. (Multi-roled with Deano)

Ana: 18. Has just completed her A-Levels and is due to study Biochemistry at Newcastle. Known as the ‘quiet one’ opposite her sister Alicia, she is sensible and reserved, academically ambitious but ultimately a home bird.

Alicia: 18. Ana’s twin sister, but she couldn’t be more different. Loud, occasionally callous, and quick with a joke. Alicia is determined to get out of the North East and see the world, starting with moving away to study Philosophy at uni, pitting her against her home-loyal sister.

Faye: Late teens, trans, non-binary.  A troubled teenager and would-be runaway who ends up down the lines on their way from their ever-at-war parents. They are struggling to feel themselves in such a heated and hateful environment and have had enough of life in their hometown.

For the role of Fay we are particularly interested in hearing from trans actors, especially those who are non-binary themselves.

Rob: 24. A deep thinker who struggles to articulate himself. He frets over a lack of community at work, finding solace only in his close friendship with Deano.

Deano. 23. Rob’s best friend. Doesn’t think too much about anything and is content with simple pleasures. The play finds him and Rob in a state of shock after drunkenly wandering astray from their night out and witnessing something unexplainable down the lines. (Multi-roled with Miles)

Emma. 21. A typical Geordie lass who works at the barber’s in town. She feels stuck in a rut in life and struggles to reconcile her love of her home and friends with her burning desire to move on with her life.

Charlie: 21. A happy-go-lucky lad who works at the supermarket in town, but basically lives at the pub. A former class clown who never really gave up the act. An old school friend of Emma’s.

Timeframe and further information

The auditions will be at The Customs House on 18, 19 and 20 April between 10.30am and 4.30pm and each actor will be allocated a 15 minute slot.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and are strictly limited.  There will be a waiting list taken if required.

Interested actors would need to be available for rehearsals, which will be from Sunday 29 May to Friday 3 June (10am-5pm) at The Customs House, as well as for the performance on Friday 3 June at 7.30pm.

This is an opportunity for emerging actors to gain experience of working with The Customs House, and in performing a new piece of work, however no previous professional experience is required. We are keen to hear from as many new or emerging young actors as we can, so please don’t feel deterred from getting in touch if you currently don’t have a lot of experience.

Due to the conditions of our funding, actors will need to be 25 and under (minimum age 17) and be from or living in the North East of England.

The fee is £400 per actor.

To register your interest, and request your audition slot email Fiona Martin, Deputy Director- Learning and Participation: [email protected].

Please remember to include your date of birth, location, and your Acting CV or Spotlight link.

An extract of the script for the audition will be emailed to you a week before the audition, please let us know if you require an alternative format or large print.


Our Promise to Our Creative Community

In March 2021, we reached out to our community and asked how we could better serve our creatives, these consultations were kindly facilitated by Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director/Chief Executive of Derby Theatre, and we were delighted with the generosity given by these creatives in terms of their time and willing to drive change.

Based on these discussions we have implemented the following:

  • We were asked to make it easier for people to find out about how they can engage with us, we’ve added a page on our website where opportunity for creatives are posted as a central place of focus for people to easily find information.
  • We were also asked better support a culture of transparency, since April 21 we have advertised and appointed two director roles and 24 acting positions (via the Creatives page), with over 50% of the actors being new to the venue.
  • We also noted suggestions that we need to offer opportunities for writers; we advertised for PLAY; the opportunity for five writers to submit up to 15 minutes of their play, and these were performed in the Main House in June as rehearsed readings with four actors, and director Emily Collins. Each writer was given a recording of their piece, and a report from The Customs House on suggestions for development. This is something that we plan to do annually.
  • Creatives asked that we offer open auditions, as well as recruiting through agents, and we saw over 50 young actors (aged 17-25 years old) to be part of Cherryade Supernova that was performed in June as part of Takeover, all eight actors were new to TCH with several making their professional acting debut.
  • We have made a partnership with South Tyneside Arts Festival and we will be giving opportunities for artists and performers to access the venue for free (for a week in August) in order to share their work in the Main Gallery, as well as for their workshops across the venue in visual art and musical theatre.
  • In January 22, we will programme Community Focus Groups to gain feedback on our Theatre, Cinema and Learning and Participation offer, and continue to reach out and to listen.

To view previous creative opportunities at The Customs House,
Please click HERE to visit our archive