Page 1

autumn 2013

0844 871 3022* sunderland*

*Booking fees apply

welcome to sunderland: everything you need, by the sea!


HERITAGE St Peter’s Church, a stunning 7th Century landmark and Penshaw Monument – both full of history


13 july centre stage hey there, broadway!

MUSEUMS The wonderful Winter Gardens and exciting creations at the National Glass Centre

20 july kathleen davis kicks an’ things

SPORT Aquatic Centre (the only 50m pool between Leeds and Edinburgh) and snowboarding at Silksworth Ski Slope RELAX Stunning beaches at Roker and Seaburn and the tranquillity of Mowbray Park

1 - 3 August FOOTLOOSE PP

SHOPPING The Bridges, full of everything you need

12 August karen Shiel movies and musicals too!

EVENTS Including the International Airshow each July CULTURE Where else, but the Sunderland Empire!

28 August - 1 September MICKEY’S ROCKIN’ ROAD SHOW

Above is just a small selection of what’s on offer, and whatever your reason to visit, there’s lots of parking available or public transport if you prefer (see page 31). Plus a wide range of restaurants and bars offer fantastic discounts for ticket holders - two examples below.

2 - 7 September soul sister PP 23 September the Illegal Eagles



Pan Asian cuisine Summer & Autumn Early Dinner Menu 3 courses for only £15.95 pp Available from 5.45pm, last order 6.45pm (exc Fri & Sat) 0191 510 0099

French - Italian - English cuisine Early Bird menu 1 course £8 - 2 courses £10 - 3 courses £12 Available 11am - 2pm; 5.30pm - 6.45pm (exc Tues & Sun) 0191 565 1988 We recommend you check that offers are available when booking a table, and leave yourself enough time to get to the theatre before the start of the show. Any offers stated may be withdrawn or amended without notice.


Cover image: Ghost Photograph by Matt Crockett. Singin’ in the Rain Photograph by Manuel Harlan

27 September AN EVENING OF BURLESQUE 28 September ROY CHUBBY BROWN 1 - 12 October WEST SIDE STORY 14 - 19 October THE MOUSETRAP PP

24 - 26 October BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET the SLEEPING BEAUTY 29 october UK Pink Floyd Experience 31 October The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show 2 november kathleen davis - trick or treat it’s dancing feet 4 November Vampires Rock 5 - 6 November Ellen Kent Opera La BohÈme/Aida PP 7 November Halfway To Paradise 8 - 9 November Jason Manford 11 - 16 November Carnaby Street PP 17 November Al Murray 18 - 23 November Seven Brides for Seven Brothers PP 26 November - 7 December Ghost the musical PP 13 December - 5 January Cinderella PP

Booking fees apply


14 January - 1 February Singin’ in the Rain PP 5 february shameem karim school of dance PP 8 February brendan cole 26 February Sally Morgan 27 February Ellen Kent Opera Nabucco PP 7 & 8 march birmingham royal ballet PENGUIN CAFé 31 march - 5 april tonight’s the night PP 30 April - 17 May War Horse 10 - 15 November Riverdance

PRICE PROMISE Many shows are priced from just £10, with great value seats available throughout the auditorium. Shows included are marked as PP . Speak to a sales advisor to find the right seat at the right price. Subject to availability

Fancy a little bit of everything? The Sunderland Empire is delighted to be a part of The Ambassador Experience, Ambassador Theatre Group’s exciting new range of bespoke packages for you, our theatregoers. The Ambassador Experience gives you the opportunity to make your special visit to the theatre even more memorable, and we’ll be offering you the Blue Label package (details below). So treat yourself to our special Blue Label offer by booking early with your tickets. And remember, good things come in small packages! b lue l a b e l


WELCOME D RINK* Nibble B ox containing : G L A S S O F WINE MINI CHED DA R S C A D B U RY ’ S C A R A MEL NIB B LE S A PRO G R A M ME O R THE ATRE G IF T * G lass of house wine (175ml ), C arlsberg or N on-alcoholic drink

for Three weekS only! Singin’ in the Rain 14 jan - 1 feb 2014

to book a package, c a l l t h e B o x Off i c e o n 0 8 4 4 8 71 3 0 2 2 . P a c k a g e s may be r e s t r i c t e d t o c e r t a i n s h ows on ly.


show-stopping disney talent, live on stage

Get READY to kick off your sunday shoes! ‘FLAWLESS FROM START TO FINISH’ Sunderland Echo speaking of the 2012 Stage Experience production of Fame

‘FUNNY, ENDEARING AND UTTERLY BELIEVABLE’ Sunderland Echo speaking of the 2011 Stage Experience production of Bugsy Malone

‘outstanding’ Evening Chronicle speaking of the 2008 Stage Experience production of West Side Story

stage experience 2013 From Broadway to the West End, Footloose is the 80s dance musical set in the small farming town of Bomont. It’s shaken up when city boy Ren McCormack breaks the carefully monitored town laws, falls in love and brings dance back to life. A high energy musical with classic 80s hit songs such as Footloose, Holding Out For a Hero and Let’s Hear It For the Boy – it’d be a crime to miss it! Stage adaptation by DEAN PITCHFORD & WALTER ROBBIE Based on the original screenplay by DEAN PITCHFORD Music by TOM SNOW Lyrics by DEAN PITCHFORD Additional music by ERIC CARMEN, SAMMY HAGAR, KENNY LOGGINS & JIM STEINMAN 4

This amateur production is performed by local 9 – 25 year olds and by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe Ltd.

thu 1 - sat 3 aug Thu – Sat eves 7.15pm Sat mat 2.30pm TICKETS £9 – £17 PP Atg theatre card Half price opening night† under 16s, sENIORS & students £2 off† C Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

Disney characters and artwork ©Disney, Disney/Pixar characters ©Disney/Pixar

FAMILY PACKAGE 4 tickets £16.50, £18.50 or £20.50 per person†

Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and your favourite Disney friends for a hilarious talent search in the all-new Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show! Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy set out on a zany road trip where audiences join in and help find the coolest acts around. Along the way, hit a high note with Cinderella; get your bounce on with Tigger; and shout out your loudest ‘yee-haw’ at a hoedown with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story! Grab your family for a fun-filled getaway at this live, show-stopping adventure jam-packed with unexpected twists, turns and hijinks!

‘A brightly coloured, high-energy, singalong romp featuring all the top Disney icons’ Belfast Telegraph Weekend Magazine

WED 28 AUG - SUN 1 SEP Wed – Fri mats 1.30pm Sat & Sun 10.30am & 1.30pm TICKETS £19 – £23 (Premium seats also available)

G Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

5 x


The legendary, smash hit thriller celebrates its 60th anniversary ‘The cleverest murder mystery of British Theatre’

‘simply the best! Triumphant!’ daily telegraph

The Telegraph

‘A truly entertaining classic thriller’ The Sunday Times

‘Deservedly a classic among murder thrillers’ The Observer Inspired by the music, life and times of IKE &

‘terrific’ daily mail

Direct from its smash hit West End season, this new musical hailed as ‘Sensational’ the times is inspired by the life and times of Ike and Tina Turner. Critics and audiences alike are raving about the show with ‘A back catalogue to die for’ Evening Standard. This ‘slick’ new musical (The Times) features all the classic Tina Turner hits, including What’s Love Got To Do With It, Proud Mary, Private Dancer, River Deep Mountain High and of course Simply The Best and many more. The story follows the highs, lows, passions and heartbreak of Ike and Tina as their careers soared whilst their marriage crumbled, ultimately leading to Tina being catapulted to super stardom and heralded as one of the greatest solo artists of all time. Full of heart and soul, electrifying choreography, and stunning musical numbers, Soul Sister is sure to have you on your feet, partying the night away.

★★★★ ‘sensational’ 6

MON 2 - SAT 7 SEP Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 – £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card Half price opening night or £5 off† SENIORS £18.50 best available Wed mat C G E Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042*

the times

*Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

A classic. A landmark. A legend. The Mousetrap is famous around the world as being the longest running show of any kind in the history of theatre - with over 25,000 performances it’s a play to be proud of. And to celebrate 60 incredible years on stage, it’s going on tour for the first time, with a star cast to give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this masterpiece here at the Sunderland Empire. The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motives are finally revealed. In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie has created an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner.

Mon 14 – SAT 19 OCT Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 – £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

captioned perf Thu 17 Oct 7.30pm Early booking recommended

Atg theatre card Half price opening night or £5 off† C G E Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply


THE NO.1 ‘GREATEST MUSICAL OF ALL TIME’ The Times Top 50 Musicals 2013


‘if you buy one theatre ticket, make it this one’ observer


‘this is a show that truly has it all. blazingly undiminished’ sunday express Based on a conception by Jerome Robbins Book by Arthur Laurents Music by Leonard Bernstein Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Entire original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins Originally produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince by arrangement with Roger L. Stevens

With ground-breaking choreography by the legendary Jerome Robbins, book by Arthur Laurents, an unforgettable score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story changed the face of musical theatre for ever.

TICKETS £15 – £45 (Premium seats also available)

captioned perf Thu 10 Oct 7.30pm

Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and packed with unforgettable songs including Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty, this production of West Side Story has been described as ‘one of the towering achievements of musical theatre of the last century’ Guardian.

Atg theatre card £10 off first 2 nights†

Now Joey McKneely’s vibrant stage production of the classic musical, with Jerome Robbins original choreography, returns to the UK after international sell out success.

C G E Details page 30


‘quite simply a masterpiece’ evening standard 8

TUE 1 – SAT 12 OCT Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm Extra mat Thu 3 Oct 2.30pm

Early booking recommended

now d! ex tende

Ambassador experience packages See page 3

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply


birmingham royal ballet returns to sunderland

opera and ballet international present two ellen kent productions ‘the finest production of Sleeping Beauty that I may ever have seen in Britain’ The arts desk

★★★★ the independent

‘Visually and vocally gripping from start to finish’ The Independent on AIDA

Family Fun Day

26 Oct 12.30pm - 2pm Fun for all the family in this unique opportunity to go behind the scenes with the ballet Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography Peter Wright & Marius Petipa Production Peter Wright Design Philip Prowse Lighting Mark Jonathan

THU 24 - SAT 26 OCT Thu & Fri eves 7.30pm Fri mat 2pm Sat mat 2.30pm TICKETS £12 - £26.50 (Premium seats also available)

On her christening day Princess Aurora is cursed by the wicked fairy Carabosse: one day the Princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die. But the kind Lilac Fairy tempers the curse so the Princess will instead fall asleep for 100 years. With a classical score by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty is considered one of the greatest ballets from Imperial Russia. This thrilling production is by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s former director Sir Peter Wright, creator of the Company’s popular production of The Nutcracker. With its romantic finale packed with every fairytale character imaginable, The Sleeping Beauty is as engaging now as when she first fell asleep, over a hundred years ago.

‘The grandest achievement, the pinnacle of style, amongst the great classics’ SUNDAY TIMES 10

Photograph Bill Cooper

Atg theatre card dates timesprice opening night Half times or £5 off† times tICKET OFFER TICKETS £xxSleeping - £xx PPBeauty Book for The and save £5 off Penguin Café p21† Atg theatre card discount UNDER 16s † dates Half price F Details E Details C G E page page 30 31

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042

featuring the Celebrated Chisinau National Opera and national philharmonic with International guest Soloists

LA BOHÈME PUCCINI Directed by Ellen Kent, this brand new production is traditionally staged and features lavish sets and costumes. La Bohème is one of the most romantic operas ever written. It tells the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer. This classic tale of Parisian love and loss features many famous arias including Your Tiny Hand is Frozen, They Call Me Mimi and Muzetta’s Waltz.

‘Authentic, tender and passionate’

‘Aida has one of the most imposing sets you will see on an operatic stage’ Manchester Evening News

also on sale


Verdi’s Thu 27 Feb See page 21

daily Telegraph

AIDA verdi THE GRANDEST OF ALL ellen kent’s OPERAS returns to the uk A stunning, traditional production of this magnificent story of war, jealousy and revenge. The doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames, set against stunning sets inspired by the Valley of the Kings. Spectacular ballet sequences. Unforgettable arias including the classic Triumphal March. Incredible pyrotechnics with a magnificent wall of fire! NOT TO BE MISSED!

Tue 5 & Wed 6 nov La Bohème Tue eve at 7.30pm Aida Wed eve at 7.30pm TICKETS £10 - £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card £10 off† C G E F Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042**

*Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

*Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

Aida cast is subject to change. Both operas are sung in Italian with English surtitles



all you needed was a dream and a guitar!


‘Patti Colombo has fueled the action with dizzying leaps and spins that frequently brought cheers from the opening-night audience’ Variety

Featuring over 30 classic hits including

Roll Over Beethoven Born to be Wild I Like It Twist and Shout Sweets for My Sweet Do Wah Diddy Diddy Keep on Running

sam attwater as Adam




Go Now and many more

Carnaby Street is a stunning new musical, set against the backdrop of London’s West End in the sixties, its iconic clubs, trendy fashions and eccentric characters, at a time full of hope and freedom, when the world is changing and anything seems possible. Directed by Bob Tomson (Blood Brothers and Dreamboats and Petticoats) and designed by Matthew Wright (Evita, La Cage Aux Folles), Carnaby Street tells the story of Jude, a working class boy from Liverpool, new in town and armed with nothing but his guitar and his dreams of fame and fortune. This joyous production - jam-packed with over 30 classic hits from the time, including Roll Over Beethoven, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Twist and Shout, Keep on Running, Sweets for my Sweet, Mustang Sally, 5-4-3-2-1, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Shout, I Like It and many, many more - follows the passion and heartbreak of his journey in pursuit of stardom. Carnaby Street tells the unique British story of every boy or girl’s dream - to become a rock star! 12

MON 11 - SAT 16 nov Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 – £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

early booking offer £5 off if paid by Fri 30 Aug† Atg theatre card Half price opening night or £5 off† SENIORS £17.50 best available Wed mat C G Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

A brand new restaged version of the classic American frontier dance musical Set in Oregon in 1850 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is the story of Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, who goes to town to get a wife. He convinces Milly to marry him that same day. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover he has six brothers - all living in his cabin. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness - kidnap the women they want! this breath-taking production is guaranteed to put a spring in your step and a tune on your lips. It's toe-tapping good! Directed and Choreographed by US award winning Patti Colombo.

MON 18 - SAT 23 nov Mon eve 7.45pm Tue - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 - £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card Half price opening night or £5 off† c g E F Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply


The Musical phenomenon fresh from the west end


‘JAW-DROPPINGLY AMAZING’ Manchester Evening News Direct from the West End, the smash-hit musical Ghost comes to Sunderland for two weeks this November. Based on the phenomenal Oscar-winning movie that captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation back in the 90s, Ghost is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next, trying to communicate with girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer. Adapted for the stage by Bruce Joel Rubin from his own Oscarwinning screenplay for the film, the amazing special effects and dazzling staging are by the multi award-winning Paul Kieve (Inner Magic Circle member) and Tony Award-winner Matthew Warchus. With a score by rock legends and Grammy award winners, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson and Alanis Morrisette), and featuring the unforgettable Unchained Melody, Ghost is a rollercoaster ride of romance and comedy with dazzling state-of-the-art staging.

‘A dazzling display of undying love’ The Times 14

Main photograph by Matt Crockett. Original London cast photography by Sean Ebsworth Barnes.

tue 26 nov - sat 7 dec Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 - £39.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

signed perf Thu 5 Dec 7.30pm Early booking recommended

Atg theatre card Half price first 2 nights or £6 off† seniors £23 best available Mon - Wed† C G E Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply


From CITV and Nickelodeon


SHERRIE HEWSON as the Fairy Godmother

from Channel 5’s Milkshake

amy thompSON

a spectacular family pantomime FRI 13 DEC 2013 - SUN 5 JAN 2014 december 2013 Fri 13 1.30pm

as Cinderella

With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella shall go to the ball and meet her Prince Charming, despite the best efforts of her dastardly Ugly Sisters! But don’t forget to keep an eye on the clock as midnight approaches. The producers of last year’s smash hit Peter Pan return this Christmas with the enchanting rags-to-riches tale of Cinderella. This fantastic fun-filled show promises hilarious comedy, stunning special effects, lavish costumes and sets and lots of audience participation, plus our sensational Shetland ponies!

‘Pantomime of the season’ Evening Chronicle of Peter pan, 2012

‘Fantastic Family Fun’ Sunderland Echo of Peter pan, 2012


Sat 14



Sun 15



Mon 16

No performances

Tue 17



Wed 18



Thu 19

No performances

Fri 20


Sat 21



Sun 22




Mon 23



Tue 24



Wed 25

No performances

Thu 26


Fri 27



Sat 28



Sun 29



Mon 30



Tue 31 2.30pm january 2014 Wed 1 No performances Thu 2


Fri 3


7pm 7pm

Sat 4



Sun 5


TICKETS £10 - £25 PP (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card Half price Fri 13 Dec or £5 off† (Half price offer includes Premium seats)

martin dodd for UK productions proudly presents

Family Ticket £5 off† dates times times times

Groups 10+ £5 off† WITH

TICKETS £xx - £xx PP Atg theatre card discount dates†

featuring sensational shetlandC ponies live on stage!

G F E Details page 30

0844 871 3022 ‘Unmissable Christmas treat that Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042 really does have everything’* *

Northern Echo of Peter pan, 2012 16

*Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

Jamie Morris & Tarot Joseph as the Ugly Sisters

† All concessions exclude lowest price and premium seats & apply to all Jan performances and the following Dec performances (unless stated otherwise): 1.30pm 17 - 20; 2pm 30, 2.30pm 26; 5pm 15, 29; 6pm 14, 27, 28, 30; 7pm 17 - 20 (All concessions subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.)

Groups 50+ £12 6pm 14 & 30 Dec & 4 Jan, 7pm 2 & 3 Jan only

relaxed performance Fri 3 Jan 2.30pm See page 30 LEA /Academy Schools 10+ £10 (inc. £1 ice cream voucher) plus 1 teacher free with every 10 pupils 1.30pm 13, 17- 20 Dec only†

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042 *Booking fees apply


The smash hit musical comes to Sunderland!

Direct from the West End, this superbly enjoyable production of Singin’ in the Rain is a smash hit with critics and audiences alike. It tells the story of the first Hollywood musical, when the silver screen found its voice and left silent movies - and some of its stars – behind. This spectacular show is packed full of the charm, romance, comedy and tinseltown glamour of one the world’s best loved movies and features all the songs from the glorious MGM score including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes and the classic Singin’ in the Rain. With high-energy choreography and sumptuous set design (including 12,000 litres of water) Singin’ in the Rain showers you with everything you could wish for in a hit musical.




Images of West End cast. Photography by Manuel Harlan

Tue 14 Jan - SAT 1 Feb Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 - £45 PP No booking fees! (Premium seats also available)

signed perf Thu 23 Jan 7.30pm Early booking recommended

Atg theatre card Half price Wed 15 Jan or £6 off† Seniors £26 best available Wed mats† C G E Details page 30

0844 871 3022 Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042 †Restrictions apply

19 x

savings for Groups


coming soon ‘Unforgettable’ THE SUNDAY TIMES on Penguin Café

West Side story See page 8 Why not make your visit to the theatre an even better one by getting it together with a group and making the most of our fabulous Group Bookings service? Did you know, when booking 10 or more tickets you can receive the following benefits without deposit:

Aida / La BohÈme 10+ £6 off plus 1 free Nabucco / PENGUIN with every 10 CAFé / The Sleeping beautY

■ Advanced notification and priority booking

carnaby street

8+ £5 off 20+ £6 off plus 1 free

■ Generous savings per ticket


10+ £5 off / 50+ £12

■ No booking fees

Ghost the musical 6+ £5 off 20+ £6 off plus 1 free 50+ £7 off plus 3 free

■ Pre ordering of programmes and ice creams ■ Confirmation invoices to help you keep track ■ Up to eight weeks to pay This service is completely free. All you need to do is pick a show, pick up the phone and get booking! What’s more, for as little as £15 per person you can also enjoy; a private bar, drinks on arrival and during the interval, house programmes and a hostess service. If you would like to add in one of our delicious buffets or champagne receptions, then just say the word. To book group tickets, call 0844 871 3042 (weekdays 9.30am – 5.30pm) or email If you would like further advice you could call the group booking line or alternatively contact one of our Sales and Marketing Representatives and arrange an appointment for them to visit you. Ann Hunt who covers the Durham area can be contacted on 07905 403841. Jeff Laybourn who covers Sunderland can be contacted on 07857 643362. 20

Here is a selection of some of the savings available to groups:

PLEASE NOTE Concessions apply to certain prices and perfs only

mickey’s rockin’ road show

10+ £2.50 off

The mousetrap

10+ £5 off 20+ £5 off plus 1 free

Seven brides for seven brothers

10+ £5 off 20+ £6 off 50+ £7 off

Singin’ in the rain 10+ £7 off Pay by 30 Sep & receive 20+ £8 off plus 1 free 50+ £9 off plus 3 free soul sister

10+ £5 off 20+ £6 off plus 1 free

penguin café Directed by Ellen Kent, featuring the Celebrated Chisinau National Opera and National Philharmonic with International Guest soloists


Ellen Kent returns with a new production of the very first opera she ever produced. Verdi’s haunting and melodic chorus of the Hebrew slaves follows the plight of the Hebrews as they are forced from their homeland into exile by the Babylonian King Nabucco. This powerful tale is laced with revenge, destruction and jealousy. This spectacular traditionally staged production features magnificent sets and costumes with amazing lighting and stage effects, in an evening to remember.

TONiGHT’S THE NIGHT 10+ Best available £22 war horse

20+ £2.50 off

west side story

10+ £5 off

Shows marked with G throughout the brochure also have a groups discount available.

Thu 27 Feb 7.30pm TICKETS £10 - £29.50 PP (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card £10 off† Sung in Italian with English surtitles

c G E F Details page 30

Penguin Café introduces a morris-dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a woolly monkey and many more, in a ballet that takes a witty and poignant look at man’s effect on the world. This Triple Bill is completed by one of Kenneth MacMillan’s best-loved creations, Elite Syncopations, and the sexy, sassy Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, a crazy tale of a high-kicking stripper and a happy-go-lucky hero who literally has to dance for his life. fri 7 - sat 8 MAR Fri eve 7.30pm Fri mat 2pm Sat mat 2.30pm

Family Fun Day

SAT 8 Mar 12.30 - 2pm Fun for all the family in this unique opportunity to go behind the scenes with the ballet.

TICKETS £12 - £26.50 (Premium seats also available)

Atg theatre card £7.50 off† tICKET OFFER Book for The Sleeping Beauty (page 10) and save £5 off Penguin Café† UNDER 16s Half price C G E Details page 30 21


Featuring 20 of Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits Phil McIntyre entertainments, Arnold stiefel and ambassador theatre group present

written by ben elton

‘LET US PRAISE THE ROD ALMIGHTY, AS TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT IS THE NIGHT OUT!’ THE SUN Rod Stewart is quite simply one of the best selling recording artists of all time in a career spanning five decades. Tonight’s The Night, the smash hit West End musical comedy insired by the songs of Rod is the all-singing, all-dancing feel good show which went on to play sold-out theatres across the UK. Tonight’s The Night is back and now is your chance to rediscover the magic of timeless classic songs, from Maggie May to Baby Jane and Hot Legs to Sailing plus many more!

Including the massive hits

Maggie May, Baby Jane, Hot Legs, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Some Guys Have AllThe Luck, Ooh La La, Sailing, Tonight’s The Night plus many more! 22

Set on the mean streets of Detroit and in the glamorous clubs of uptown LA, Tonight’s The Night tells the story of a shy young man, so tongue tied that he cannot find the courage to declare his love to the girl of his dreams. How different he is to his hero, that legendary rock n’ roll vagabond Rod Stewart - now there’s a guy who never had any trouble hitting on a girl! One night our hero strikes a deal with the Devil, trading his soul for Rod’s. It seems like a good idea at the time but this guy is about to find out the hard way that you can’t find true love using another man’s moves and that devil or no devil, there’s only one Rod Stewart! Written by multi award-winning writer and comedian Ben Elton (We Will Rock You) this sensational musical comedy features spectacular staging, a world class band and dazzling choreography. Directed by Cjay Ranger, Choreographed by Denise Ranger. Photos of previous cast.

‘the biggest smash hit in years’ capital radio mon 31 mar - sat 5 APR Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £10 - £29.50 PP Atg theatre card £10 off opening night or £5 off† seniors/students £15 Wed mat† C G Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042* *Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

23 x

upcoming highlights

‘A landmark theatre event’time

THE Illegal eagles heaven heats up tour Mon 23 sep 7.30pm TICKETS £21.50 & £23.50 atg theatre card £1.50 off c g

In 1980 The Eagles took a 14-year break and returned with the classic album Hell Freezes Over. The legendary tribute band Illegal Eagles, have no intention of taking any time off and are back this year with their Heaven Heats Up Tour, featuring all the classic songs including Lyin’ Eyes, Hotel California, New Kid in Town, Tequila Sunrise and more.

ready steady cook live! tue 24 sep 7.30pm TICKETS £26


‘The theatre event of the decade’ sunday times

The nation’s favourite cookery show comes alive on stage at Sunderland Empire! Star host Russell Grant and TV chef Lesley Waters are joined by a celebrity chef serving up all the favourite ingredients of Britain’s best loved cooking show. Will ‘Green Peppers’ or ‘Red Tomatoes’ triumph? Book now to decide and vote at Ready Steady Cook Live! Chefs and guest hosts appear subject to availability.

THE Hitchhiker’s GUide to the galaxy Radio show live! Based on the novels by Douglas Adams wed 25 & thu 26 sep 7.30pm TICKETS £19 - £25 (Premium seats also available) atg theatre card £3 off c

WED 30 APR - SAT 17 MAY Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm Thu 1, Wed 7, Wed 14 & Sat mats 2.30pm TICKETS £15 – £45

War Horse tells the powerful and uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey, and the unimaginable obstacles they overcome both individually and together. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. Filled with stirring music and some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time, War Horse is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, and an unforgettable theatrical experience.


‘So exhilarating it makes you rejoice to be alive’ The Times 24

Following a smash hit UK Tour in 2012, this ground-breaking new stage production is back - a radio show like you never saw before. Joining Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, and Hitchhiker’s favourites from the original cast, will be a VIP Guest Voice Of The Book.

an evening of burlesque

(Premium seats also available)

fri 27 sep 8pm TICKETS £24 atg theatre card £2 off c

UNDER 18s £5 off Mon – Thu†

Britain’s biggest burlesque extravaganza arrives direct from London’s West End, unveiling a fresh cast of burlesque all-stars for 2013. Join a riotous romp into the bizarre world of burlesque and cutting-edge variety. It’s the slickest, wickedly wittiest, most delightfully choreographed cabaret extravaganza of the year. Dress up and come to the cabaret. Over 18s only.

captioned perf Thu 8 May 7.30pm Early booking recommended

Audio described perf Sat 17 May 2.30pm. (Touch tour before the perf around 1pm.) Early booking recommended

C G E Details page 30

0844 871 3022* Groups 10+ 0844 871 3042*

uk pink floyd experiencE tue 29 oct 7.30pm TICKETS £21 G

The 60s’ and 70s’ Show selects songs from Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Saucer Full Of Secrets, Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall. With a 9 piece line up and the authentic sound of Floyd, this truly is a sensational tribute to one of the world’s greatest bands.

*Booking fees apply †Restrictions apply

book now 0844 871 3022 (bkg fee)


upcoming highlights The rat pack vegas spectacular show

brendan cole licence to thrill

Thu 31 Oct 3pm & 7.30pm TICKETS £17 - £21 c

SAT 8 FEB 7.30pm TICKETS £25 - £35 atg theatre card £3 off c g



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Purveyors of Cool return with the greatest music of the 20th century. Wonderful memories of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis. Under My Skin, Mr Bojangles, That’s Amore, Come Fly With Me, Sway, Mack The Knife, Fly Me To The Moon and many more. The Stage - ‘superb, remarkable, tremendously entertaining’. The BBC said ‘MAGNIFICENT’.

Strictly Come Dancing’s charismatic Brendan Cole is set to dazzle audiences with his brand new show. Join him and his cast of 20 musicians and dancers on a journey of music and dance in this spectacular evening of ballroom magic and Latin excitement, it’s a live dance extravaganza not to be missed.

vampires rock 10th anniversary tour

local productions Call for details

mon 4 nov 7.30pm TICKETS £21 & £23 atg theatre card £1 off c g

13 JUL centre stage - hey there, broadway!

Steve Steinman, a full cast of superb singers, dancers and a formidable band blast their way through some of the greatest ever classic rock anthems including We Will Rock You, Bat Out of Hell, Sweet Child Of Mine, Total Eclipse of the Heart and many more! With an amazing stage set and comical story line, this classic rock spectacular is not to be missed!

halfway to paradise the billy fury story thu 7 Nov 7.30pm TICKETS £19.50 atg theatre card £1 off c g

20 JUL KATHLEEN DAVIS - KICKS AN’ THINGS 12 AUG KAREN SHIEL - movies AND musicals too! 2 nOV KATHLEEN DAVIS - trick or treat it’s dancing feet 5 feb Shameem Karim School of Dance

Hospitality at the sunderland empire

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Billy Fury was Britain’s own Elvis - and girls loved him! 30 years after his death, Billy’s band, his Original Fury’s Tornados, re-play live his timeless hits - Wondrous Place, Last Night Was Made For Love, Halfway To Paradise and more. With giant onscreen footage of Billy and the band, plus the uncanny voice of Colin Gold, it’s rock ‘n’ roll heaven!

jason manford first world problems fri 8 & sat 9 nov 8pm Tickets £23.50

Everybody’s favourite northern comedian promises to bring a wealth of comedy anecdotes, comic misunderstandings and audience banter delivered with likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit. Jason said, ‘I’m excited to be getting back to what I really love the most - stand up!’ ‘classic, chirpy-chappie stand-up’ Guardian

AL Murray the only way is epic sun 17 nov 7.30pm TICKETS £26.50

Following a sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and sell-out autumn and spring runs The Guv is bringing his critically-acclaimed show of epic proportions, filling up Broken Britain’s empty pint glasses to audiences from the four corners of the UK. This show will see Britain’s most irrepressible innkeeper serving up his premier brew of ale-inspired acumen and bar-room buffoonery. 26

book now (bkg fee)

†Restrictions apply

The Sunderland Empire is a beautifully decorated Edwardian theatre with well equipped function rooms to suit every requirement. With our dedicated Front of House team, we can not only deliver the very best in live entertainment, but also cater for your individual hospitality needs for groups of 10 or more with a tasty range of food and beverage packages. Whether you’re entertaining clients or just enjoying a theatre visit with your friends or family, we’re committed to enhancing your theatrical experience within a luxurious environment. For more information on how we can create that extra special experience, please call our Front of House team on 0191 566 1071. 27

Sunderland Empire offers a creative learning programme, which develops and leads participatory, educational and arts activities, events and projects inspired by the shows on stage, with the aim to meaningfully involve and engage the local community. Activities can be held at the theatre or your own venue, to avoid transport issues for your group and to deliver outreach engagement to groups who would not normally have the opportunity to access such programmes. Whether you’re a pre-school group or a University faculty, an alternative education scheme, a community group or even a corporate organisation, we have something for everyone!

Show-Themed Activities Workshops All show related workshops are only £2 per person to groups booking 10+ show tickets; otherwise a fee of £5 per person applies. Led by our in-house creative learning practitioner, workshops 28

are designed to coincide with visiting productions. We are delivering show-themed workshops for the following productions: West Side Story 1-11 Oct Cinderella 9-20 Dec Don’t miss your chance to take part in a professional, engaging and fun workshop that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of your group, as well as your desired learning outcome! Demand is usually high, so contact us today for more information!

‘Helped to fulfil an Arts Award criteria’ Arts Award group Redhouse Academy, Dirty Dancing Workshop (Sep 2012) Education Resource Packs Education resource packs support teaching and learning in the classroom and are designed to complement your visit to the theatre, in line with the National Curriculum. Packs are available for most shows this season, contact us for full details.

Theatre Experience At £5 per participant, this comprehensive theatre package offers great value for money, providing an all-inclusive theatre experience perfect for schools, youth and performing arts groups. Sessions consist of a full access all areas venue tour, together with behind the scenes and stage access where available.* Participants get an insight into the inner workings and historical background of the venue, followed by a bespoke workshop specifically tailored to your group. Refreshments are available at an additional £1pp.

We also offer a technical work experience programme for those aged 18+. Working with our technical team during the run of a West End production, a full work experience schedule will be created in order for you to gain the most from your placement. Whether you’re studying technical theatre, considering a career backstage or looking to improve existing skills within an amateur setting, this could be perfect for you! Both work experience programmes have limited availability; therefore please apply well in advance of your

required dates. Further and Higher Education students who have a keen interest in a career in the creative industry, creative education or working in the community are advised to get in touch to discuss any opportunities available.

Access all Areas Find out more about your favourite theatre with a backstage tour! Learn about the history of our beautiful Edwardian theatre, find out how it is managed and see the auditorium as the stars

do - from the stage! Access all Areas tours are available to LEA and youth groups of 10 – 30 and are priced £3pp.

Contact us For information on any of the Creative Learning activities above or to discuss any other opportunities at the Sunderland Empire, contact Hollie Coxon on 0191 566 1056, email SunderlandEducation@ or visit our dedicated website

*Behind the scenes and stage access are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Work Experience We have developed a work experience programme for students studying at GCSE level and above, who are passionate about gaining experience in a working theatre. Students will experience first hand how a receiving venue works, spend time working within various departments and assigned tasks which may be developed and delivered within the business!

SPECIAL EVENTS Show Tours We are delighted to offer the following show tours for Autumn/Winter 2013: West Side Story Ghost The Musical Cinderella Please contact us for full details of dates and times of our tours.

Lasting approximately 90 minutes, tours include full auditorium access giving you the opportunity to see the sets and staging of large scale productions up close and personal, whilst learning about the history of the venue and how it is managed. Show tours conclude with tea and coffee. Prices £6pp Groups 10+ £5pp

Private & non-show Tours Tours are available to groups of 10 – 30 and are priced £5pp.

Accessible performances For full details of all access performances and our new Relaxed performance of Cinderella see page 30 or call our access line 0191 566 1045 or email sunderlandboxoffice@ 29

booking and access information seating plan

CONCESSIONS Shows with these symbols have the following concessions available: GALLERY

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Ambassador theatre group

Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary e lac Squire in 1992, k P the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd oc ist v a (ATG) has T grown to be the UK’s largest theatre E 3 AC A18 PL RD group with a total of 40 venues in Britain and on ER NE VI EST CH Broadway and an internationally recognised et tre nS theatre producer. rtoIt is also a leader in theatre Mu 10 Tickets. ATG’s From Chesterticketing services through ATG le-Street impressive portfolio of West End theatres includes MARY ST Apollo Victoria, Donmar Warehouse, Duke of STOC PARK LANE York’s, Fortune, Harold Pinter, Lyceum, Phoenix, K TON UNIVERSITY 90 RD A PUBLIC TRANSPORT A6 1231 RD Piccadilly, Playhouse, Savoy and Trafalgar Studios 1 INTERCHANGE PARK AM DURH LANE & 2. In New York, ATG owns The Foxwoods Theatre, E TERRAC From Durham N WA the largest theatre on Broadway. ATG’s regional CO & A1 (M) theatres include The Ambassadors Woking encompassing the New Victoria and Rhoda McGaw Theatres and the award-winning Ambassador oad Cinemas; Aylesbury Waterside m R Theatre; New Sale Alexandra Theatre Birmingham; Theatre Royal Civic Brighton; Bristol Hippodrome; Churchill Theatre Centre Bromley; Edinburgh Playhouse; Leas Cliff Hall, 18 d A10 Roa Folkestone; King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, rk Pa Glasgow; Grimsby Auditorium; Liverpool Empire; Palace Theatre and Opera House, Manchester; oad Taxi ranks Pedestrianised area Restricted access area re R Milton Keynes Theatre; New Theatre, Oxford; e d e Belv From Richmond Theatre; Southport Theatre; Regent Teesside Theatre and Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent; PARKING DIRECTIONS Sunderland Empire; Princess Theatre, Torquay; 11 New Wimbledon Theatre and New Wimbledon Sunderland is excellent for parking with For online and Sat Nav Studio and Grand Opera House, York. Current around 3000 parking places across the The Bridges Multi-storey car park’s and recent ATG co-productions include Macbeth, city centre. Both St Mary’s Multi-storey postcode is SR1 3EX and St Mary’s The Hothouse, Passion Play, Posh, Jumpy and (480 places) P1 and The Bridges is SR1 3AH. Constellations (Royal Court at the Duke of York’s), 9 To 5 The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Multi-storey (760 places) P2 secure Legally Blonde The Musical, Monty Python’s car parks are within a short walking PUBLIC TRANSPORT Spamalot, The Rocky Horror Show, Goodnight distance of the theatre and both have By Train Mister Tom, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, very competitive rates. The Bridges P2 Most train routes to Sunderland are via South Pacific, All New People, Dandy Dick, Blue/ Orange, Ghost The Musical, Matthew Bourne’s costs just 50p per hour from 6pm and Newcastle Central and can be reached Nutcracker!, Exit the King, The Mountaintop, £1.10 per hour before, whilst St Mary’s within just 20 minutes by National Rail Being Shakespeare, The Misanthrope, West Side P1 costs £1.10 per hour all day. and regular Metro services, with the Story, Elling and Guys and Dolls. UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND



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Large print guides are available upon request. Please contact us for a copy.

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groups, families and individuals can come along and explore the venue



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Customer Contact Centre access booking number 0844 871 7677 Text Relay service is available Text phone users 18001 0844 871 7677 Standard phone users 18002 0844 871 7677

Staff will receive specialised training to enable them to assist you during your time at the theatre and we will provide the following:




CARD CHARGES & TICKET COLLECTION Transaction and booking fees are applied. Bookings may also additionally carry a credit/debit card fee. For security, when collecting tickets purchased by card, the card used must be presented on collection from the Box Office.

If you have specific access requirements, please call our dedicated equal access booking line on 0191 566 1045 (Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm) or email sunderlandboxoffice@ is also available by calling 0844 277 9856 (24 hours).

A relaxed performance is catered specifically for families and people with learning and behavioural disorders such as autism. The atmosphere in the theatre is more relaxed; possible changes to light and sound may be made. Audience members can come and go as they please - no late comer’s rules. And no one will be asked to be quiet.





Striving to remove barriers that may prevent people from attending our theatre.

RELAXEd PERFORMANCEs We are proud to announce the up coming relaxed performance of our family pantomime Cinderella! Fri 3 Jan at 2.30pm













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The information in this brochure was correct at time of going to print. We reserve the right to make 4 From of events, alterations to thestpublished programme e et W thetoPort their prices the varying Streand concessions. Due High nature of our shows, we cannot guarantee an unrestricted view from all seats at all times.

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ACCESS information

Audio described performances by Vocaleyes: War Horse Sat 17 May 2.30pm Touch tour prior to the performance. Time TBC. Please call the access line for further information.

From Newcastle


group sales 0844 871 3042 Mon - Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm

CONDITIONS OF SALE Tickets cannot be refunded. Ticket exchanges can only be offered for a per ticket exchange fee. Exchanges will only be accepted for the same production and for the same value or higher, on payment of the difference. All exchange requests are subject to availability and must be received at least 48 hours prior to the original performance date.

Captioned performances by Stagetext: West Side Story Thu 10 Oct 7.30pm The Mousetrap Thu 17 Oct 7.30pm War Horse Thu 8 May 7.30pm



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in person – we now open earlier! Box Office, Sunderland Empire, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3EX Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm. On performance days we close 15 minutes after curtain up (normally 7.45pm). On Sundays and Bank Holidays, we’re open 1hr prior to performance times.

FRONT OF HOUSE OPENING TIMES & LATECOMERS RULE Doors open 1 hour prior to performance. Latecomers may not be admitted to the auditorium until a suitable break in the performance and in some instances, not until the interval. The management reserves the right to refuse admission.

Access performances BSL performances by Northern Sign: Ghost Thu 5 Dec 7.30pm Cinderella Fri 20 Dec 7pm Singin’ in the Rain Thu 23 Jan 7.30pm


Calls to the Customer Contact Centre are charged at national rate (charges may vary according to service provider). We are unable to accept ticket reservations over the phone or online.

Concessions may be restricted to certain price levels and performances and can be changed or withdrawn by management without notice. Only one concession can be applied at any one time and proof of status is required.

restoration fund All ticket prices have a £1 restoration levy applied. The restoration fund enables the theatre to maintain its splendour throughout. Recent works include the staircase at the main entrance painted with new lighting installed and the bronze statue of Terpsichore rejuvenated. Make 8 sure you have a look when visiting us A1018 treet next – you’ll9love the difference! ear S

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by telephone 0844 871 3022 (bkg fee) Mon - Sat 9am - 10pm Sun 10am - 8pm

Family offers vary per show. Please contact the Box Office.


book online (bkg fee)





Groups of 10 or more - see page 20




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Level access, lift, wheelchair spaces and Sennheiser infra red system are available. BSL, open captioned and audio described performances are occasionally scheduled. Guide dogs are welcome. Customers who require additional assistance to attend the theatre can request at the time of booking.

From Seaburn, Roker & South Shields



Seniors or Children or Students or JSA Claimants

For more information on Text Relay, please visit




finding us and parking

Go to and search for ‘Parking’.

closest stations to the theatre being Sunderland and Park Lane.

Design SWD Print John Good


PriorityTickets. Great Savings. Buy an ATG Theatre Card today and join the 100,000 theatre lovers across the UK who are already enjoying priority tickets and great savings. ATG Theatre Card gives you: Priority tickets - get the best seats first! Special ticket offers including half price on many productions No booking or postage fees on most shows Priority brochure just for you Fee free ticket exchange Save 10% on pre-show and interval drinks

39 venues for £30 JOIN BY DIRECT DEBIT! It’s quick and easy. Just give us your details once and we’ll do the rest.

Free cloakroom Accepted at 39 venues across the UK and in the West End

half price Fri 13 Dec†

Go to Call 0844 871 7633

half price Wed 15 Jan†

ATG Theatre Card benefits are subject to availability, please check with the venue. Members can purchase up to 4 tickets and drinks with their Card. Additional booking fees may apply on selected music, comedy and named act events. ATG reserves the right to withdraw benefits or related offers and without notice. Theatre Card price is valid until 30/09/13. For full Terms and Conditions please visit our website

Sunderland Empire Autumn 2013  
Sunderland Empire Autumn 2013