Sunderland Empire

The Sunderland Empire is the North East’s largest theatre. The venue regularly hosts everything from concerts to comedy, and ballet to musicals. It’s most recent refurbishment was in 2000 and these improvements mean that it is now the only theatre between Manchester and Edinburgh that is capable of staging large-scale West End productions.


Dancing fans wait for Irish spectacle

Stage phenomenon Riverdance jigged into the region this week. The Journal's Paul Loraine was given a close up look at how to do the Irish dance.

Musical extravaganza that's right up your street

42nd Street, Sunderland Empire Theatre, until May 26 - The musical of musicals is enjoying its latest revival and I have a sneaky suspicion North-East audiences are going to be pleased as punch.

'Panto's going to be our best yet'

Pop star Faye Tozer, best known as one-fifth of the group Steps, is to star in Aladdin at Newcastle Theatre Royal this Christmas.

I've walked down this street before

Around 90 seconds into my chat with Sarah Thornton, I started getting a very strong sense of déja vu.

Panto tickets already on sale

A carriage fit for a princess announced the sale of tickets for a North-East theatre's traditional Christmas pantomime yesterday.

Monster of a day for Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo bit off a little more than he could chew in Newcastle yesterday.

Chuckling despite hitting the road

The Chuckle Brother's official website announces: "We hit the road again on our UK tour..."

Mortgages in jeopardy

An increasing number of families are facing having their homes repossessed in a North-East borough.

Sax player Paul stages sentimental journey

Musician Paul Booth is preparing for a nostalgic return "home" 16 years after winning a junior talent competition.

Home-grown talent is rolling into town

Roller-skating fans among you won't be surprised to hear that the ever-popular Starlight Express is currently in the wheel-filled throes of a three-week tour at Sunderland Empire Theatre.

Diversions to bridges

One of the main approaches to the Tyne and Swing bridges has been closed for two days to allow for repair work on a leaking gas main.

Fast track to stage

A three-week run of smash hit musical, Starlight Express wheels its way onto stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre tonight, and there are two aspiring North-East stars on board.

Centres for children

Children's centres will be built at two Tynedale schools after Northumberland County Council approved plans for both.

Waving a wand to give a great display

A truly magical experience is coming to the North East this weekend.

Be different this Mothering Sunday

  • ITV

Mothering Day shouldn't be the only day of the year when you treat your mum.

Pure Agony to perform, a pure delight to watch

The stage is bare. The backdrop is a bluer shade of pale.

This is The Culture Club broadcasting from

Members of The Journal's Culture Club were last night treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at Metro Radio.

Slaves to the Webber rhythm

  • BBC

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Sunderland Empire until Saturday

High spirits, but the swan dies

For some reason, sharing experiences of Russia often involves recalling the potency of Russian vodka.

Hot ticket

Babes in the Wood, Customs House, South Shields, until January 6, Tel: (0191) 454-1234.

Barrymore revels in his welcome

Entertainer Michael Barrymore last night said he was delighted by the performance of North-East youngsters auditioning to appear with him in a musical.

Star welcomes new pool death probe

Detectives re-investigating the death of a butcher whose body was found in a swimming pool at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore said yesterday they hoped to "establish the full facts" behind the tragedy.

Awight again

Entertainer Michael Barrymore was born Michael Parker in Bermondsey, South London, in 1952.

A-haunting Barry will go

He's best known for his dance floor prowess in Hi-De-Hi, but audiences will have a tough job recognising Barry Howard in his latest haunting get-up, as Sam Wonfor finds out.

Soundings on faith and science

A scientist who has researched how bats use sound to track and capture their insect prey will give the first in a series of lectures at Sunderland Minster on Wednesday looking at the conflict between religious faith and science.

Your Christmas stars

It's pantomime time again, which can only mean one thing .

Hot Ticket

Tynemouth Gang Show 2006

Sexy show has lots of sparkle

Chicago at Sunderland Empire until November 18

Be dazzled by razzle

Hit musical Chicago has started a two-week run at Sunderland Empire.

Hot ticket

Chicago Sunderland Empire. Until November 18, 7.30pm (plus matinees). Tel 0870 602 1130

Dale is off to Chicago

Dale Meeks is returning to his roots for a two-week dose of razzle-dazzle.

Hot ticket


Dancer in the dark

When Chris Hannon arrives back in his beloved Newcastle on Monday, he'll be donning his footie kit and kicking a ball about.

Whistles of appreciation well deserved

Romeo and Juliet by Birmingham Royal Ballet at Sunderland Empire

Works to depth charge emotions

Stravinsky Triple Bill by Birmingham Royal Ballet at Sunderland Empire

Divas are back for fabulous Follies

With more than two centuries' worth of experience behind them, these devastating divas are unlikely to be floored by first night nerves when they take to the stage next week.

2 for 1 offer at the Sunderland Empire

The world's leading theatrical ice skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars, return to the Sunderland Empire for one week only, from Tuesday, November 21, with a dazzling brand new production - Swan Lake on Ice.

Fun for families hallmark of show

Annie is a story that needs no introduction. Most people know the story by now and if they don't know the story, they've definitely heard the songs.

Star `hopes to explain a few things' to fans

Troubled entertainer Michael Barrymore said he hoped to "explain a few things" to his fans at a signing for his autobiography yesterday.

Hot ticket

Annie Sunderland Empire. Tonight until Saturday, 7.30pm (Wed and Sat mats, 2.30pm).


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer