Calendar Girls, Grease, X Factor favourite Rhydian, Ken Dodd and Jimmy Carr feature in Sunderland Empire’s all-star autumn

Calendar Girls with our all-star cast.
Calendar Girls with our all-star cast.
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THE Sunderland Empire has unveiled an autumn programme packed with blockbuster shows.

Global success story Calendar Girls will be on Wearside from September 12 to 17, followed by Queen-inspired hit We Will Rock You, from September 27 to October 8.

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Then the musical Grease, based on the 1978 John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John film, will stop off for a two-week run from October 24 to November 5.

X Factor star Rhydian Roberts has just been announced as one of those starring in the production, playing Teen Angel.

Hit West End and Broadway musical Sister Act is also coming, from November 15 to 26.

Coronation Street actor Denise Black plays Mother Superior in the stage version of the film, which starred Whoopi Goldberg.

Channel 4 comic Jimmy Carr is to appear at the Doncaster Dome.'''Jimmy Carr is one of the biggest faces in comedy. Literally - he's got one of the biggest faces.

Channel 4 comic Jimmy Carr is to appear at the Doncaster Dome.'''Jimmy Carr is one of the biggest faces in comedy. Literally - he's got one of the biggest faces.

Annie then arrives at the end of November for a week-long run on November 29 until December 3.

The hottest ticket of the festive season will undoubtedly be Legally Blonde The Musical.

Theatre fans are expected to flock to Wearside to see the show which enjoys an extended run from December 6 until New Year’s Eve.

Comedy fans in the city will not be left disappointed either, with TV favourite Jimmy Carr, appearing on November 6, and North East comic Roy Chubby Brown, performing two days later.

Legendary Liverpool funnyman Ken Dodd and Irishman Ed Byrne will hope to tickle Wearside’s funny bones when they perform on September 10 and 21 respectively.

If psychics are your thing, then you will not want to miss Derek Acorah, who performs on November 7, or Sally Morgan, who takes to the stage on February 27.

Shows set to arrive on Wearside in 2012 include Chicago, Blood Brothers, Dreamboats and Petticoats, and Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Take That tribute performers Back for Good and big band The Kings of Swing are due in the early part of the year too.

For more information on tickets, go to www.sunderlandempire.org.uk or call the theatre box office on 0844 871 3022.

Follow Echo reporter David Allison on Twitter