We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fabulous theatres in the North East, which are looking forward to welcoming back full audiences this autumn.
We’ve picked out a few of our favourite venues and asked them to highlight their must-see shows this season.
The Sunderland Empire >>
This beautiful theatre is excited to be reopening its doors once again from 2 September with an array of spectacular shows.
Marie Nixon, Theatre Director at the Sunderland Empire says: “We really can’t wait to have this programme of amazing shows back on our stage and to welcome audiences back. 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.”
Theatre fans have a host of reasons to be excited; their season features multi award-winning master of mind control Derren Brown, musicals direct from the West End including School of Rock, Waitress and Dreamgirls plus fan favourites Dirty Dancing, Rocky Horror Show, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical and Riverdance.
With the jaw-dropping The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the return of the annual pantomime – this year Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – it’s never been a better time to enjoy a visit to the Sunderland Empire.
Live Theatre >>
Located at Broad Chare on Newcastle’s vibrant Quayside, Live Theatre has a reputation as one of the great new writing theatres on the international stage, seeking out and nurturing creative talent.
Its quirky historic spaces, made from five Grade II listed buildings joined together, offer a unique atmosphere with an intimate feel.
Kema Sikazwe’s ground-breaking play, Shine, will kick things off when it opens on 2 September. Updated for 2021, Shine is a bittersweet coming-of-age story with an electrifying soundtrack.
Your Voice North East, from 23 to 26 September, is an opportunity to experience original work by new voices and the theatre talent of the future. Braids and Cheer Up Slug from 7 to 23 October is a world premiere, double bill of debut plays about a search for belonging and boundaries and behaviour, respectively.
Lewis Jobson returns from 27 to 30 October to entertain audiences in Redcoat, a hilarious, honest and human show featuring banging tunes, dance routines, balloon modelling and that extra special Redcoat sparkle.
From 3 to 27 November, there’s a brand-new adaptation of Benjamin Myers’ best-selling novel The Offing, by award-winning playwright Janice Okoh. An unforgettable, touching story of a friendship that conquers the barriers of age, gender and class.
2021 at Live Theatre rounds off with the much-anticipated return of the sell-out hit Bonnie & Fanny’s Christmas Spectacular, offering the perfect festive night out. This celebration of all things cabaret and comedy is a calamitous Christmas knees-up packed full of sketches, songs, lip syncs and dances.
Tyne Theatre and Opera House >>
Opened in 1867, this Grade I listed building is steeped in history and offers tours for theatre enthusiasts. It boasts key elements of national importance, including the lavish auditorium and wooden stage machinery.
It is a social hub of entertainment, hosting variety performances, comedy, ballet, musicals and live concerts, and is very much. back with a bang post-covid.
Highlights over the coming months include Stick Man, the funny and delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book, on 13 and 14 September.
Jimmy Carr will be there on 4 October on his Terribly Funny Book Tour, to celebrate the release of Before & After Laughter: A Life Changing Book. The show warns that “having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo!”
Wet Wet Wet will be dropping by on 21 November as part of their 20-date tour of the UK and if it’s a pantomime you’ve been craving, Sleeping Beauty is showing for a month from 3 December to 3 January.