The curtain is finally set to rise again on Sunderland Empire as it announces its reopening date following 16 months of closure.

The Empire will turn off the symbolic Ghost Light and swing open its historic doors once again on Thursday 2 September 2021, allowing us all to enjoy the magic of live theatre once again.

The Thrill Of Theatre Is Back… 


The Lion The Which And The Ward


A jam packed season of shows awaits with a variety of the world’s best productions, comedians and musicals finally making their way back to ‘The West End Of The North East’. 

We can’t wait to get back in there and quench our need for the bright lights and electric atmosphere that only a good live theatre show can bring!


Marie Nixon, Theatre Director at 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.”

Marie 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.”


What’s On? Get Your Diaries At The Ready… 


Tina Turner Tribute


The first to welcome audiences back to The Empire will be What’s Love Got To Do With It? A tribute to Tina Turner (Thursday 2 September).

And after the queen of rock and roll tribute has blown the roof for opening night the performances will be coming thick and fast from then on.

The crowd pleasing first week will see comedian Paul Smith (Friday 3 September), The Greatest Hits Of Mowtown (Saturday 4 September) and world famous illusionist Derren Brown (7-11 September) all take to the stage.

With a wide variety of shows already planned taking us all the way into January 2022, Sunderland Empire is truly bringing culture back to the city with a bang.


Helen said: “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.”


For full listings and 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


Which shows at Sunderland Empire will you be catching? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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