• Durham OnAir

CURTAIN SET TO RISE AS SUNDERLAND EMPIREANNOUNCES REOPENING DATE


Sunderland Empire has today announced they will raise their curtain and turn off the symbolic Ghost Light on Thursday 2 September 2021 following over 16 months of closure.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? A tribute to Tina Turner will be the first show to welcome audiences back on Thursday 2 September 2021. It is quite fitting that as the iconic theatre prepares to make a triumphant return, music that was on the programme from day one when the theatre officially opened on 1 July 1907 by music hall star Vesta Tilley will take centre stage as the first show back.


The tribute concert will be followed that week by comedian Paul Smith (Friday 3 September), The Greatest Hits of Motown- How Sweet It Is (Saturday 4 September) and Derren Brown: Showman (7-11 September). Marie Nixon, Theatre Director, Sunderland Empire said:


“We are delighted to announce our reopening date and we can’t wait to welcome our audiences back to

enjoy the thrill of live theatre once more. Thanks to funding received from the Cultural Recovery Fund

the team have been working hard behind the scenes to get our reopening campaign underway. The funding has supported the team to work on some exciting locally led projects including the virtual Big Sing and the virtual Ghostlight Sessions, and it has been so good to hear music ringing through the theatre again, but what has been missing is our amazing audiences.”



A packed season awaits customers and you’ll be ready to have the time of your life when smash hit Dirty Dancing – the classic musical on stage returns (14-18 September), hotly followed by cult classic The Rocky Horror Show (20-25 September), global hit musical, School of Rock (5-9 October)


is sure to rock the stage, get ready for a slice of happiness with Waitress (25-30 October) and toe- tapping fun with Riverdance (4-6 November). Be sure to get your cup of ambition fix with 9 to 5 The Musical (9-13 November), enjoy family favourite Gangsta Granny and laugh out loud with Alan Carr (22-23 October), alongside a host of one night spectaculars including The ELO Experience (2 November), Jimmy Carr (1 November), An Evening with the Sunderland Legends (7 November). Top the season off and enter the enchanted kingdom of Narnia with the magical classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (30 November – 4 December) and finish 2021 with panto season and the long-awaited return of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (10 December – 2 January) with local

favourites Dan Cunningham aka Miss Rory and Tom Whalley.


Marie Nixon, Theatre Director, Sunderland Empire added:


“Our What’s On Guide will be hitting later this month and as you can see we have a packed season in the pipeline with a mixture of comedy, spectacular musicals, a host of music tributes and family favourites, so there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.


We really can’t wait to have this programme of amazing shows back on our stage and to welcome audiences back, and as an accredited See It Safely venue please be assured we’ll be following all the latest government advice when you visit us. This really is a joyous and long-awaited moment for the whole team here.”


To book tickets for the new season call 0844 871 7615 (Applicable fees apply. Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s standard network access charge) or visit atgtickets.com/Sunderland