Just before Christmas, I headed down to the Tyne Theatre to see The Geordie Rat Pack, Christmas Show. This is the third Geordie Rat Pack show I’ve been to but the first at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House. The show has become a bit of a tradition with some local Mam friends. The previous shows I have seen were at the Customs House in South Shields. Memorable moments have included tap dancing dogs, a round of lurid green Aftershock passed into the audience and the ‘smurf’ news. Yes, the show really is that madcap and you never know what to expect.
The Tyne Theatre & Opera House is a lovely theatre and our seats at the front of the lower circle were perfect. Great view but far enough away to not be ‘picked on’ by the comics! As regular readers of the blog will know we love a good comedy night but my worse fear is that one day I’ll get picked on. This means no turning up late or heading to the toilet in the middle of a set!
The elf hat on the seat was a great festive touch to the nights’ proceedings. In fact, our kids wore them for their Christmas jumper day the next morning. The Geordie Rat Pack guys were accompanied by the 12 piece Paul James band who filled the stage with their instruments and three female vocalists.
Who are the Geordie Rat Pack?
The Geordie Rat Pack shows are based on the old Rat Pack shows in Vegas which would have the guys singing, cracking jokes with the audience and basically getting drunk! The Geordie gang consist of
- Jason Cook a local stand up and comedy writer. Jason wrote the series Hebburn based on his own life in the town and starred himself, Chris Ramsey, Vic Reeves and Gina McKee. He has also recently written the Comedy Gold special ‘Murder on the Blackpool Express’. We enjoyed Jason Cook’s Comedy Club last year.
- Steffan Peddie, another local stand up comic who toured with his 99 Problems (but chips ain’t one of them!) tour which we reviewed. Stefan is often on local radio standing in for Alan Robson on the Metro Radio NightOwls show.
- Neil Grainger, actor and comic who among his roles starred as Gervais the club singer in Jason Cook’s Hebburn.
- Glen Roughead, a local swing singer who created the Geordie Rat Pack after tweeting Neil Grainger and inviting him to a show at the Sage as his alter ego club singer Gervais.
What can you expect from The Geordie Rat Pack Show?
Anything goes at a Geordie Rat Pack night. The jokes and songs kept coming with a Christmas…and distinctive Geordie touch. From the ‘Geordie rap’ about a mild-mannered gangster who lights a wheelie bin..but then puts it out. To a reworking of Chris DeBurgh Christmas classic, ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ with Neil Grainger as the spaceman complete with Ebay fancy dress suit.
There were some great vocals from the backing singers who took the lead on a version of ‘Santa Baby’ and ‘All I want for Christmas’ and ‘O Holy Night’ to get the audience in the Christmas mood. A raffle ensured that a member of the audience won a cruise…which turned out to be a dingy. The guy took back to the aisle and sat in for the rest of the show! Now that was a guy who didn’t mind getting picked on. The guys were also baffled why an audience member would come from Atlanta to spend Christmas in Newcastle and quizzed her as to what the highlight would be. Answer..the Fenwick window!
As a slight criticism, I would say the Geordie Rat Pack Christmas show was more music than comedy. This is no slight on the vocals or band, I would have just preferred more banter and jokes from the guys as this is where the show really shines. You can tell the Geordie Rat Pack guys are genuine friends who hang out in between shows and aren’t afraid to take the mick out of each other.
When is the next Geordie Rat Pack show?
There doesn’t seem to be any dates for further shows but keep checking their facebook page for the next instalment. We will be sure to book up as it’s a great night of Geordie talent and fun. Maybe I’ll bring Alan next time to see what he’s missing?