From Bowie to Viv Albertine - diary dates not to miss in the new Sunderland Stages programme

Jonny & the Baptists
Jonny & the Baptists
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The curtain’s been raised on the new Sunderland Stages season.

Following on from the autumn season, which featured Faust, a dance spectacle at St Mary’s carpark which went on to win a British Theatre Guide award, the next line-up promises an eclectic mix of shows.

Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads

Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads

It’s the third season of performances from Sunderland Stages, which is aimed at bringing theatre to more unusual spaces in the city.

The spring programme kicked off this week with a food-based comedy, The Chef Show set inside The Funky Indian restaurant. It was a fly-on-the-wall story of a father and son on a busy Saturday night in a local curry house.

Sunderland Stages is also offering an alternative night out for those bored of the usual Valentine’s Day activities with From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads at The Royalty. Featuring the music of Bowie, it’s billed as a darkly funny exploration of youthful obsession.

Punk fans can also enjoy Viv Albertine, guitarist of The Slits, who’ll be sharing her story of the male dominated music scene and how she challenged the image of women in rock, with Sunderland musician Marie Nixon from Kenickie and The Cornshed Sisters.

Spirits of the Sea

Spirits of the Sea

Other highlights include a performance of Gods and Mortals at Sunderland Minster, which will feature live music and stories of the Hindu Gods in a contemporary interpretation of Indian dance.

Meanwhile, Mixtape at The Dun Cow, in High Street East, provides punters with a series of three musically inspired sketch show quizzes.

Tickets for shows start from £5 and can be booked online at

Sunderland Stages programme

Viv Albertine

Viv Albertine

l Mixtape at The Dun Cow, 7.30pm on February 10

A music quiz comedy sketch show. Bring a team and guess the songs that inspire the sketches.

Cost: £5

l From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads at The Royalty Theatre. 7.30pm on February 14.

A darkly funny show with a blistering David Bowie soundtrack, this is the journey of one fanatic as he discovers truths that will change his life forever.

Cost: £8.50 / £6 (In advance). £9.50 / £7 (On the door). £5 for students

l Spirits of the Sea at National Glass Centre. 10.30am / 1pm / 3.30pm on February 22.

Step inside a magical hut to hear about an enchanted maritime adventure for a family experience with live music and puppetry.

Cost £6 (In advance / On the door)

l Viv Albertine in conversation with Marie Nixon at the Museum and Winter Gardens. 2pm on February 25.

Viv Albertine, from iconic punk band The Slits, shares her fearless story of challenging women’s image in rock, with extracts from her memoirs.

Cost £10 (In advance / On the door)

l Give Me Your Love at Sunderland College, Bede campus. 7.30pm on March 14.

Investigating innovative approaches to mental health and Post Traumatic Stress, World War Veteran Zach fights the enemy from a cardboard box under his kitchen table.

Cost: £8.50 / £6 (In advance) £9.50 / £7 (On the door). £5 for students

l Ventoux at Arts Centre Washington. 7.30pm on March 16

Follow the 2 Magpies as they re-stage Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani’s drug-fuelled race of the Ventoux mountain.

Cost: £8.50 / £6 (In advance) £9.50 / £7 (On the door). £5 for students

l Jonny & The Baptists at Pop Recs in Stockton Road. 7.30pm on April 5.

Exploring the gap between rich and poor, Jonny betrays Paddy for the high life in this riotously funny epic about inequality, friendship and betrayal.

Cost: £5 (In advance / On the door)

l Mixtape at The Dun Cow. April 28 at 7.30pm.

Cost: £5.

l Gods & Mortals at Sunderland Minster. 7.30pm at May 12.

A twenty-first century presentation of Indian classical dance with live music, telling the stories of Hindu gods and the struggles of humans.

Cost £12 / £10 (In advance). £14 / £12 (On the door)

l Mobile at Market Square. Various times from May 26-27.

Step into this magical caravan and explore people’s dreams of the future in this 40 minute show where the walls project faded memories and kettles talk.

l Mixtape at The Dun Cow. 7.30pm on June 30.

Cost: £5.