14 things coming to Sunderland Empire in 2018

Wicked is coming to Sunderland Empire in September next year. Picture: Shutterstock.
Wicked is coming to Sunderland Empire in September next year. Picture: Shutterstock.
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With the festive season fast approaching, it’s time to look forward to the New Year and make some plans.

Luckily, there’s a whole host of exciting entertainment going on in Sunderland in 2018. Here are just 14 things coming to Sunderland Empire next year.

Will you be going to see Matilda? Picture: Shutterstock.

Will you be going to see Matilda? Picture: Shutterstock.

January 12-13: John Bishop - Winging It - Comedy legend John Bishop returns for his fifth tour of the UK and Ireland with a brand new show, touching on his late entry to stand-up and how he often feels like he is ‘winging’ his way through life. (£40.15, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

January 19: The Johnny Cash Roadshow - Singer-songwriter Clive John becomes Johnny Cash in this entertaining journey back through the late country star’s impressive career. Amanda Stone appears as June Carter, helping John to sing his way through 50 years’ worth of hits. (From £23, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

January 20: One Night of Queen - Garry Mullen (landslide winner of 2000’s Stars In Their Eyes’ Live Grand Final) has been touring the world and wowing audiences with his impersonation of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury for the last 13 years. Queen fans shouldn’t miss this astounding act when it stops off in Sunderland for one night only. (£24, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

January 27: Ellen Kent - Madama Butterfly - Ellen Kent’s production of Puccini’s moving opera Madama Butterfly features performances from celebrated soprano, Maria HeeJung Kim of the Korean National Opera, and international soprano, Alyona Kistenyova. (From £15.40, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

Comedian Russell Brand. Picture: Shutterstock.

Comedian Russell Brand. Picture: Shutterstock.

January 28: Bowie Experience - The Golden Years Tour - Celebrating the late, great musician David Bowie, the Bowie Experience is an unforgettable visual and audio live experience. Expect all the hits, from Life On Mars and Space Oddity to Heroes and more. (£27.50, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

January 31-February 11: Shrek the Musical - Based on the popular Dreamworks film, Shrek the Musical brings lovable characters like Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona to life on stage. With plenty of singing and dancing, this is a production the whole family will enjoy. (From £17.50, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

February 12-14: Faulty Towers - The Dining Experience - Fans of 1970s BBC comedy Fawlty Towers (starring John Cleese as bumbling hotel owner, Basil Fawlty) will adore the Faulty Towers Dining Experience. Attendees will be served a three-course meal with a large helping of laughs by Basil, Sybil and Manuel during this largely improvised production. (£60, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

February 28: Sing-a-Long Beauty and the Beast - Disney lovers of all ages will be excited to attend this interactive screening of the recent live action re-make of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Dress up as your favourite character and get ready to sing your heart out along to the film’s fantastic soundtrack. (£15 (£12 for children), Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

April 16-21: Legally Blonde the Musical - Starring Lucie Jones, Rita Simons and Bill Ward, this all-singing, all-dancing stage adaptation of 2001 romantic comedy Legally Blonde is a fun-filled and feel-good production that will leave you with a triumphant smile on your face. (From £15, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

April 30-May 1: Gary Barlow with KT Tunstall tour - Take That singer Gary Barlow is heading out on a solo tour and stopping at Sunderland for two nights, supported by Scottish singer-songwriter, KT Tunstall. Expect big hits, as well as unheard new material from both performers. (From £40.15, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

May 3: Russell Brand - Re:Birth - Controversial but much-loved comedian, Russell Brand, performs live for one night only in Sunderland, discussing everything from the modern media and politics to fatherhood and death. (£31.65, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

May 8-June 2: Matilda the Musical - Adapted from Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel by musician Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical (performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company) is a triumph. With clever sets, catchy songs and a talented cast, the show will reignite your love for the charming story. (From £17.50, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

July 21: Jason Manford - Muddle Class - Down to earth Northern comic and TV favourite, Jason Manford, brings a brand new stand-up set to town, covering his upsetting and confusing evolution from ‘working class’ to ‘middle class’. (£31.65, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)

September 6-September 29: Wicked - Multi award-winning Wizard of Oz-inspired musical, Wicked, explains the complicated backstories of Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. The magical production will leave Broadway and West End lovers spellbound. (From £22, Sunderland Empire Theatre, High Street West, SR1 3EX - more info)