Creative concept: Mark Maughan
Writer: Lee Mattinson

Neighbourhood Events
Commissioned by Northern Stage and part of Out On The Toon

Time and Location  Artist Biographies  Neighbourhood Events

Welcome to The Weebles

The Weebles invites you to Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, where one North East community is slowly waking up. After a year in which many of us have felt rooted to the spot, meet the twenty-two statues that make up Juan Muñoz’s Conversation Piece and find out what’s on their mind as we swing back into action.

Maybe you scanned one of the QR codes out of curiosity on a walk along the seafront. Or maybe you’re a very serious theatre person who is visiting via the Northern Stage website. Either way, read on to understand how it all works.

For this audio experience you will need:

  • A phone with internet access or if you’re listening at home you can also use a tablet/computer
  • A set of earphones
  • The Weebles map which can be printed off or accessed via this webpage
  • The illustrations and audio links below

There are seven conversations to listen to, shown on the map. You should start with Introduction (nearest to the car park) and finish with Dear John (nearest to the sea), the remaining five can be done in your chosen order.

If you’re doing this in person, check the map to find out which audio story correlates to which group of Weebles. You can then click to listen. There are also transcripts available below.

Content advice: contains some strong language and adult themes including references to gender dysphoria and homophobia.

Let us know what you think with the hashtag #theweebles


Creative concept: Mark Maughan

Writer: Lee Mattinson

Performers: Charlie Hardwick, Trevor Fox, Sarah Lewis Obuba, Nick Blakeley

Sound designer: Ross Millard

Illustrator: Steffi Holtz

Recording: Phill Howarth

Created with the kind permission of South Tyneside Council


 To download and print the map please click here.


Victor and Winnie discuss The Weebles on a day out with their grandson


Introduction transcript

White Noise

A group of carers reunite after a long break

White Noise transcript


Teenagers Zayn and Hannah discuss ‘the olden days’ with Hannah’s brother Ernie in tow, when Zayn decides to air a severe revelation



Snake transcript



Fiona’s new Fitbit grants her access to a whole new world of possibilities



Fitbit transcript



Daughter Pearl and son Oliver pave the way for something their sibling Jo has to say to parents Brian and Siobhan



They/Them transcript




Chris helps couple Ian and Rachel deal with their relationship problems by confronting some home truths of his own



Away-Away transcript


Dear John


Amanda remembers John



Dear John transcript

Time and Location  

Launching on Friday 11th June
Close to Littlehaven Beach, South Tyneside

Artist biographies

Mark Maughan is an award-winning theatre director, maker and translator with a special interest in developing ideas with artists from the early stages of a project, who has toured his work across the UK and internationally. Mark is also a reader for a number of theatres across the UK and is a member of the Cross Channel Theatre Group, coordinated by the French Institute. Directing credits include: The Claim (Shoreditch Town Hall and UK/international tour), Gross Indecency (East 15), C’est la vie (Print Room), Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (ALRA), LOBOS (Casa del Silencio, Bogota, Colombia), La Visita (FUGA, Bogota, Colombia), Trappist (Lyric Hammersmith), Open Plan (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Petrification (Live Theatre and UK tour), How was it for you? (Latitude Festival, CPT, Brighton Dome), Address Unknown / Inconnu a cette adresse (Soho Theatre at JW3).

Lee Mattinson is an award-winning playwright and his most recent play Hares was shortlisted for The Bruntwood Prize 2019. Theatre credits include The Season Ticket (Pilot Theatre/Northern Stage), Crocodiles (Royal Exchange), Snap (Young Vic), Gary Lineker is Gay (Paines Plough) and Chalet Lines (Bush Theatre). He has written extensively for radio, storylined for the cobbles of Coronation Street and is currently under commission by Theatre by the Lake, Live Theatre and Elevator Productions/BFI. He is also one half of Encounter with Director/Choreographer Jennifer Malarkey.

Charlie Hardwick is best known for playing the role of Val Pollard in Emmerdale for which she won awards for Best Comedy, Best Partnership and Best Exit. She also spent four years as Sian in Byker Grove, and appeared in many TV series and dramas including Vera, Eastenders, Casualty, Our Friends In The North, The Royal, See You Friday and Catherine Cookson’s Tide of Life and Colour Blind. Her film credits include Purely Belter, Billy Elliot and The Scar, for which she won best actress at Monte Carlo Film and TV awards. Charlie has also performed in numerous plays and musicals including Sting's The Last Ship, Live Theatre Co's Clear White Light, Two, Your Home In The West and Cabaret (The Emcee), and Lee Hall’s Cooking With Elvis and The Awkward Squad in the West End. Charlie has been a regular on Loose Women, a presenter for BBC Television and Radio, and sings in a brilliant band of women called Kissed back home in the North East. Charlie can currently be seen on C4's hit show Ackley Bridge.

Trevor Fox's theatre work includes My Brilliant Friend, Macbeth (National Theatre), The Jungle (Young Vic, West End & USA), People Places and Things (Headlong/UK tour), Amedee (Birmingham), The Tempest, Cymbeline, The Oresteia, Measure For Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gabriel, Coriolanus, Under The Black Flag (all at Shakespeare’s Globe), King Lear (Almeida Theatre), Children's Children (Almeida), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -Time  (Apollo Theatre), The Pitmen Painters (National Theatre, Duchess Theatre & New York), The Cherry Orchard (Oxford Stage), Toast (Newcastle) and Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre). Television includes The Moonstone, Beowulf, Joe Maddison's War, Our Friends in the North. Film credits include Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason, Gabriel & Me, and Billy Elliot.

Sarah Lewis Obuba: having no previous experience in drama, Sarah landed her first acting role aged 9 in Catherine Cookson's Colour Blind after her family responded to an advert in a local paper looking for mixed-raced children. Sarah then fell in love with the acting experience and became a member of Live Theatre's youth theatre for a number of years. Sarah then went on to study drama at Sunderland University. Her credits include working with the RSC, Casualty, Sky Replay, Vera, LORE (feature film), The Weebles and more. Sarah shares her time between acting and working as a part-time community staff nurse.

Nick Blakeley is originally from the North East and trained at Bristol University and The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre credits include The Claim (Shoreditch Town Hall/Paines Plough Roundabout); Twelfth Night (Orange Tree Theatre); I Heart Catherine Pistachio (Soho Theatre / Yard Theatre); Brideshead Revisited (York Theatre Royal / UK Tour); Hapgood (Hampstead Theatre); Comment Is Free (Old Vic Theatre); The Last of the De Mullins (Jermyn St Theatre); Hard Feelings (Finborough Theatre); The Sunshine Boys (Savoy Theatre); 13, A Woman Killed With Kindness (National Theatre); and 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic). TV credits include Belgravia (ITV); Summer of Rockets (BBC); Theresa Vs Boris: How May Became PM (BBC); Beyond Reasonable Doubt (CNN); Doctors (BBC); and The Old Bailey (BBC). Film includes Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) and Eyes and Prize (Independent Film).

Steffi Holtz is an artist and graphic designer from Glasgow, currently based in East London. For more of her work and information about commissions, follow her on Instagram.

Ross Millard has worked as a musician/composer for 20 years, principally as a songwriter and performer in Sunderland-based band The Futureheads. He has released six studio albums to commercial and critical acclaim. Ross has also worked as Musical Director/composer on several theatre shows, working with companies such as Wildworks and Unfolding Theatre.

Neighbourhood Events

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we're inviting you to get Out on the Toon this summer, starting with a series of free outdoor events to reconnect artists and audiences in their local neighbourhoods throughout June.

10 North East theatre makers have been selected to create work in 9 of our region’s 12 local authorities, breathing new life into the places and spaces that have been the backdrop to their lockdown, celebrating the diversity of our region and bringing communities together through immersive live performances, dance, story trails, short stories, films, live music and spoken word.

See what's happening at the other Neighbourhood Events here - we hope to see you Out on the Toon soon!

    Image credit Peter Atkinson

    This performance is part of our Out On The Toon programme funded by the Weston Culture Fund. 

    Booking for this event has now closed.