THE show must go on – despite the Black Cats’ cup clash.
Youngsters at Northern Star Theatre Arts, based at Sunderland High School, have been rehearsing for their latest show at the Sunderland Empire for the past year.
But little did they realise that SAFC would secure a place at Wembley for the first time in more than 20 years, on the same day as the show.
The budding stars – and their parents – were torn between the annual show and their football allegiance.
Thousands are expected to make the journey to London on Sunday, March 2, for the Capital One Cup final. Now, much to the relief of many of the football-loving parents, theatre principal Geri Feeney decided to bring the production forward.
“We booked our slot at the Empire over a year ago, never dreaming that SAFC would achieve this,” she explained.
“This has been a year of hard work for the children, but there’s no point in them performing for an empty audience.
“I’m a Sunderland fan myself and it was a real nightmare watching the penalty shoot-out. We wanted them to win as it’s so great for the club and the city, but we knew that moving a show wouldn’t be easy. The show must go on though.”
After liaising with the Empire, Geri was able to move the show from its original date of March 2 to February 23.
The show, entitled A Pocketful of Stars, is a night of family entertainment which will feature tracks from Wicked, Matilda, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Blues Brothers, Twilight, James Bond, Thriller Live and Disney.
•A Pocketful of Stars is at Sunderland Empire from 7pm on Sunday, February 23. Tickets are available from Tel. 0844 871 3022.
•What are you doing to celebrate the Black Cats reaching Wembley? Contact the Echo newdesk, tel 501 7208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org