Rock of Ages cast check out Sunderland's newest venue Pop Recs

The cast of Rock of Ages took a break from raising the roof at Sunderland Empire to check out another of the city’s top venues.

In between shows at the Empire, the cast took a coffee break to check out the stage at Pop Recs, which has given new life to once empty buildings at the bottom of High Street West with a coffee shop, as well as a venue for gigs and functions.

Leading the cast is former Coronation Street star Kevin Kennedy, who rose to fame as Curly Watts, who plays Dennis Dupree in the musical, which is running all this week at the Empire as it enters a new season.

Speaking about appearing in the musical, Kevin said: “I’ve always had an interest in music, it’s been constant in my life and my career and Rock of Ages is the most fun musical I have ever done.

Cast of Rock of Ages at Pop Recs. Kevin Kennedy, Darius James, Cameron Sharp, Reece Duncan, Liam Stevenson, Erin Bell, Joe Gash, Natalie Winsor and Vas Constanti Picture by FRANK REID

"It’s silly and sexy and has a wonderful 80s soundtrack, it has songs that everyone has sung in the shower – it’s just a whole lot of fun.”

The musical comedy features more than 25 classic rock anthems, including, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is.

The show spawned the hit Hollywood film starring Tom Cruise.

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Rock of Ages Sunderland: Show packed with classic rock anthems brings the noise ...
Kevin Kennedy cast member of Rock of Ages. Picture by FRANK REID

Pop Recs also recently launched its outdoor terrace where people can enjoy its drinks, breakfast and lunch options al fresco.

It took three years of painstaking restoration, a million pounds of investment and a whole lot of heart and soul to be able to finally open the new home of Pop Recs last year, in memory of one of its founders, Dave Harper.

The vision of Pop Recs has come to life thanks to the drive of Pop Recs directors, building owners Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust and funding from National Lottery.

The buildings are also a gateway cornerstone of Sunderland’s Historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone, a revival scheme comprising grant funding from Sunderland City Council and Historic England.

Pop Recs in High Street West

Across the road, work has also started on the corner building on Villiers Street to restore it and bring it back into use by the community.

*Rock of Ages is running at Sunderland Empire until Saturday, September 10