Sunderland Empire welcomes new neighbour the Fire Station Auditorium, saying the pair will offer 'something for everyone'

Sunderland’s Empire Theatre has warmly welcomed her new next-door neighbour – the Fire Station Auditorium – and says the two venues will complement each other.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 4:55 am

Theatre director Marie Nixon welcomes Tamsin Austin, Fire Station director. They are looking forward to working together to develop a huge variety of performances.

When the auditorium opens in December the £18 million Fire Station development will be complete. The auditorium will host up to 300 events a year in music, theatre, comedy and dance.

It can hold  550 people seated, or up to 800 standing. It will bring national and international artists to Sunderland,  as well as showcasing emerging and established local performers.

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Tamsin Austin, left, director of the Fire Station with Marie Nixon, director of the Sunderland Empire Theatre.

The Fire Station is operated by Sunderland Culture on behalf of Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust.  The opening programme of the auditorium, Firestarters, was unveiled in October.

It starts with Kathryn Tickell and The Darkening with special guest The Lake Poets for the venue’s opening gig on Friday, December 10, with a host of other acts to follow including Emeli Sandé on Saturday, January 15.

Marie said: “I am thrilled to welcome The Fire Station and Tamsin as our new next-door neighbour.

“With a plethora of live productions, events, and creative learning opportunities between us, Sunderland is fast becoming the premium destination for everything performing arts, from theatre to music, from comedy to dance.

“People across the North East and beyond now have the ability to experience productions of all scales, whether it’s a massive, must-see West End show or a more intimate evening supporting the local music scene.

“Between the Sunderland Empire and The Fire Station, there truly is something to cater for everyone.

Tamsin added: “The iconic Sunderland Empire has been the cornerstone of Sunderland’s cultural offering for generations, and we’re delighted to have moved next door.

“A few years ago Paul Callaghan and the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust had the vision of a new cultural quarter in the city centre, with the Empire at its heart. With the opening of the Fire Station, that vision is now a reality.

“Collaboration will be at our core and I’m delighted about the opportunity to work with our neighbours the Empire and others to create an exciting and enticing offer for audiences and artists across our performance spaces.

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