Disney’s beloved Olivier Award-winning stage musical Beauty and the Beast will be coming to Sunderland Empire next year!

Here’s everything you need to know about this award-winning production and how to get tickets this Christmas… 


Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is Coming to Sunderland Empire!


Disney's Beauty and the Beast is coming to Sunderland Empire!


Re-imagined and re-designed in a completely new production staged by members of the original award-winning creative team, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is coming to Sunderland Empire in 2022 as part of an exclusive UK & Ireland Tour. 

 Performances will begin at the Sunderland Empire from Thursday 20 January 2022 until Saturday 19 February. 

 The general on-sale for Sunderland will begin on Tuesday 12 October. Customers can sign up to be amongst the first to access tickets and can find all tour dates and information at www.beautyandthebeastmusical.co.uk 

 Spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, as the timeless romantic tale is brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast. 

Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo will play the iconic lead roles. Courtney’s credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Six, Les Misérables and Bat Out of Hell, and Emmanuel is best known for performing in Oklahoma!, Girl from the North Country, Show Boat and The Scottsboro Boys.  

Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables) plays Lumiere and Tom Senior (The Pirates of Penzance, Eugenius!) is Gaston.  

Sam Bailey (The X-Factor winner 2013, Blood Brothers) plays the legendary role of Mrs Potts, with Nigel Richards (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Cogsworth. 

Martin Ball (Les Misérables, Wicked, Top Hat) takes the role of Maurice, Samantha Bingley (Martha In The Secret Garden) is Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey (Curtains, 42nd Street, Funny Girl) is Babette and Louis Stockil (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!) plays Le Fou. 


A Disney classic reimagined with a ground-breaking stage design…  

Beauty and the Beast is reimagined in startling new designs which will use the latest theatrical innovations. 

Among the many new features is an exuberant tap dance within the legendary production number Be Our Guest, created expressly for Gavin Lee, recognised as one of the great tappers on either side of the Atlantic.  

Olivier Award nominee Matt West directs and choreographs this new production, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, book writer Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz. 

The team collectively received five Tony® nominations and a win for Hould-Ward’s costume design, when Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 26 years ago.  

The structure and tone of the story and score – as conceived for the 1991 film by its executive producer and lyricist Howard Ashman with continued evolution for the Broadway adaptation three years later – made Disney history. 

Only once before – in Menken and Ashman’s previous film musical The Little Mermaid – had a Disney film been structured like a stage musical where the songs are integral to plot and characterisation rather than only ornamental or digressions. 

This Menken/Ashman innovation is credited with the 1990’s Disney animation renaissance that went on to create such film classics as Aladdin, The Lion King and Hunchback of Notre Dame and helped re-introduce the book musical form to popular culture.  


An Oscar-winning score heads to Sunderland Empire…  



This new Beauty, while retaining the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony®-nominated score – which brought classics including Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Change in Me, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter – will be heard afresh with new dance arrangements by David Chase, allowing original choreographer Matt West to revisit his work. 

Completing the design team, Tony®-winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. 

Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production and casting for the production is by Pippa Ailion Casting.  


An iconic Broadway production… 


Here's how you can get tickets for Beauty and the Beast at Sunderland Empire


Based on the 1991 film – the first animated feature ever nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture – Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. 

It played for more than 13 years on Broadway, closing in 2007. 

It remains to this day, 26 years after it opened, among the top 10 longest-running shows in Broadway history. 

The live-action retelling of the animated classic quickly became the highest-grossing live-action film musical of all time in 2017, a record that was only beaten by The Lion King live-action released in 2019.  

Beauty and The Beast is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the supervision of Thomas Schumacher. 


Tickets are available from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*. (*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings). 


Will you be buying tickets for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Sunderland Empire? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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