Fun for all the family at the Sunderland Empire

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The spring season at Sunderland Empire is packed with variety. Katy Wheeler picks out some of the highlights.

l Dave Spikey, tomorrow. Tickets: £18.50.

DOUBLE British Comedy Award winner Dave Spikey returns to the stage with his Words Don’t Come Easy Tour.

Since impressing as cabaret star Jerry St Clair in Phoenix Nights, which he co-wrote with Peter Kay and Neil Fitzmaurice, Dave has been a regular on TV screens, as well as in theatres and comedy clubs around the UK.

l Chinese State Circus, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: £15-£26.

FROM the land of legends and warrior Shaolin monks, comes the new Chinese State Circus production – Yin Yang.

The masters of physical theatre promise a breathtaking fusion of precision acrobatics, martial arts and dazzling circus skills.

l Freddie Starr – Back From the Jungle Tour. March 22. Tickets: £22.50.

THE madcap entertainer that is Freddie Starr is back from the jungle and is hitting the road.

He’ll be bringing back some of his well-loved impressions and new sketches with his new show.

l Sing-A-Long-A-Grease. March 23. Tickets: £16.

FROM the producers of Sing-A-Long-A-Sound of Music, this interactive screening of the classic film with on-screen subtitles is set be the one that you want.

A host will lead a vocal warm up, judge a fancy dress competition and show you how to use your free goody bag.

l Chicago. March 26-31. Tickets: £13.50-£35.

THE international award-winning musical Chicago returns to the Sunderland Empire starring Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly and Bernie Nolan as Mama Morton.

Based on real-life events back in the roaring 20s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with Cell Block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer Billy Flynn.

l Rhod Gilbert. April 7. Tickets: £26

FOLLOWING several sell-out UK tours and best-selling stand-up DVDs, Welsh wonder Rhod Gilbert is back on the road with a new live show.

A regular on Live At The Apollo and with his own BBC One show Ask Rhod Gilbert, he’s one of the world’s hottest comedians.

l Spamalot. April 16-21. Tickets: £12.50-£34.50

SPAMALOT tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features tracks He Is Not Dead Yet, Knights of the Round Table, Find Your Grail and Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Todd Carty returns as Patsy from the original national cast, alongside West End and TV star Stephen Pacey as King Arthur and Bonnie Langford as the Lady of the Lake.

l South Pacific. May 1-12. Tickets: £14.50-£42.50.

THIS Lincoln Center Theater production reinvented Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s classic musical and swept the board at the 2008 Tony Awards.

The cast includes Alex Ferns (Eastenders and Guys & Dolls) and Rebecca Thornhill (Mary Poppins, Les Misérables).

The score includes Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.

l For tickets to any of the shows, contact 0844 871 7627.