Stars of a new musical based on a cult magazine took a break from treading the boards to tuck into afternoon tea.
In between performances of Jackie The Musical, which is running at Sunderland Empire all this week, Janet Dibley, best-known for her role in The Two of Us, and Eastenders actor Nicholas Bailey shared a tea for two at Seaham Hall.
To celebrate the arrival of Jackie the Musical to the region, Seaham Hall have been running pre-theatre afternoon teas, which can be eaten in either the lounge or outdoor terraces.
With choreography by Arlene Phillips, Jackie, which is at Sunderland Empire until Saturday, revisits the heady days of the ‘70s, and tells the story of a fifty-something divorcée who revisits her stash of well-thumbed Jackie magazines for the same reason she first read them nearly forty years ago - advice on how best to navigate the opposite sex.
The show features memorable hits from the era including the sounds of pop idols Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and Marc Bolan played live on stage.
Washington-born Anna Murray forms part of the ensemble and says she’s looking forward to appearing on the Sunderland Empire stage for the first time in her career.
The former Rickleton Primary School pupil, 23, said: “Back then girls didn’t have mobile phones and social media, all they had to turn to was Jackie and its agony aunts Cathy and Claire. They lived and breathed that magazine.
“My mum was a big Jackie fan, every Friday her and her sister would wait for it to be delivered. It was iconic at the time, and they loved things like its life-size posters of David Cassidy.”
She added: “The Empire was always the theatre I went to as a child, it really sparked my love of theatre.”
•Jackie the Musical plays Sunderland Empire until Saturday. Tickets from Tel. 0844 871 3022. To book a pre-theatre afternoon tea at Seaham Hall Tel. 516 1400.