An actress is stepping into the spotlight on her home stage in a musical set in the swinging 60s.
For the first time in her professional theatre career, Elizabeth Carter, from Rickleton, Washington, will perform to a Sunderland Empire crowd.
It’s a dream come true for the 30-year-old, who stars as Laura in Dreamboats and Miniskirts.
“I last sang there when I was 16 with the Rotary Club,” said the former Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy pupil.
“Whenever we went to the theatre when I was growing up, it was always the Empire.
“I was buzzing when I found out the tour was coming here, it’s the first time I’ll have performed there professionally, and it means I can stay at home with my parents every night, instead of in digs, which is a treat.”
Dreamboats and Miniskirts, which arrives at the Empire later this month, is a sequel to smash musical Dreamboats and Petticoats, which was a spin-off from the hugely-successful album series of the same name.
Elizabeth said: “I think Dreamboats and Petticoats was such a success because it really transported people back to a time they enjoyed.
“The three central pairs of characters were lovable and people were intrigued by them.
“So the producers decided to follow their story up, to show what had happened to them, which is how Dreamboats and Miniskirts came about.”
The scene is set in 1963 and couple Bobby and Laura’s first single, Dreamboats and Petticoats, has gone to the top of the charts, but they haven’t been able to repeat that success with any further records.
Norman and Sue have settled down to non-marital bliss – and a baby. Ray and Donna seem blissfully happy in their professional lives.
It features hits from the era including Twist & Shout, Handy Man, Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and more.
Elizabeth said: “The music is great. We get to party every night. People know every single song and, unlike in other musicals, they sing along with you. It makes you feel like a pop star.”
l Dreamboats and Miniskirts is at Sunderland Empire from October 26-31. Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.