The Empire strikes back!

Published: 21 July 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The Rocky Horror Show
School of Rock
Waitress
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Credit: Brinkhoff.Moegenburg

Sunderland Empire will reopen on Thursday 2 September 2021 following over 16 months of closure with three one-nighters—What’s Love Got To Do With It? A tribute to Tina Turner, comedian Paul Smith and Motown’s Greatest Hits—followed by Derren Brown: Showman (7–11 September).

A series of popular musicals follows:

  • Dirty Dancing – the classic musical on stage returns (14–18 September)
  • The Rocky Horror Show (20–25 September)
  • School of Rock (5–9 October)
  • Waitress (25–30 October)
  • Riverdance (4–6 November)
  • 9 to 5 The Musical (9–13 November)
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (30 November–4 December)

The season ends with 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.

“Our What’s On Guide will be hitting later this month,” said Marie Nixon, the Empire's Director, “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.”