Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, the National Theatre's internationally-acclaimed production of War Horse is an unforgettable theatrical experience. Hailed by Time Magazine as 'A Landmark Theatre Event', War Horse is a spectacular, powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs. At its heart, are astonishing life-sized puppets by South Africa's Tony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.... Read more >>
Running time: 2h 25m
Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, the National Theatre's internationally-acclaimed production of War Horse is an unforgettable theatrical experience. Hailed by Time Magazine as 'A Landmark Theatre Event', War Horse is a spectacular, powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs. At its heart, are astonishing life-sized puppets by South Africa's Tony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.
As World War I begins, Joey is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. Soon caught up in enemy fire, fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in No Man’s Land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.
Please be advised that latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break.
There are no booking fees for this production.
However, all bookings made through ATG Tickets for this venue are subject to a £2.85 Transaction fee.
All Super Seats include choice of nibble box, welcome drink and programme or theatre gift.
All bookings made may be subject to booking fees and a transaction charge.
A Sunderland Empire Visual Guide is available to download prior to your visit to us download here
A symbol resource on going to the pantomime is available to download here
If you would like to be kept updated about future Assisted Performances by email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are eight spaces in the stalls where wheelchair users can remain in their wheelchairs. Access is on the flat via a lift. Alternatively patrons may wish to transfer to a fixed seat, with vacated wheelchairs stored in the nearest bar area. Please note that patrons must be able to vacate the building quickly in case of evacuation. If you are unsure of the best option for you, please discuss this with our box office staff when booking.
Please note that the Upper Circle and Gallery are not accessible by lift and are therefore unsuitable for those with limited mobility.
Open captioned and audio described performances are sometimes scheduled. To be kept up to date, please email email@example.com. For all performances, there is a Sennheiser infrared system available in all areas of the auditorium. This can be used with or without a hearing aid. When you arrive at the theatre, please speak to a member of our Front of House team who will give you the equipment and show you how to use it. Please note there is a fully refundable £10 deposit for the loan of the equipment.
Guide, hearing and other working dogs are welcome in all parts of the theatre
Accessible toilets are located at the Stalls and Dress Circle levels and in the stalls bar as you enter the theatre.
To celebrate War Horse galloping it’s way to the Sunderland Empire stage, Creative Learning are working with National Theatre Learning in planning an extensive range of Creative Learning activities - all of which coincide and complement the learning and creative outreach potential of this significant production. Get in touch to discuss how your group can benefit from the inspiring education resources of War Horse.
War Horse Special Intergenerational Heritage Project
Creative Learning are planning to deliver a special intergenerational heritage War Horse project. We’re looking to work particularly with disadvantaged groups from across the City of Sunderland. If this is something which interests your group – get in touch to enquire about how you can get involved in this unique, ambitious and meaningful project.
War Horse Puppetry Workshop
Dates: Contact to discuss a date for your workshop.
Cost: £180 per group (max 35 per group).
Designed to give students a hands-on understanding of how to create characters through puppetry and physicality; the workshops give a taste of the devising process through which the War Horse horses come to life. This workshop will be run by National Theatre practitioners who have worked as performers and puppeteers in the production.
Places can be booked by contacting Creative Learning
National Army Museum (NAM) WW1 Handling Session
Dates: Mon 5 – Sat 10 May
Time: AM or PM Slots available.
Price: Free (max group size 50).
To support your students’ experience of seeing War Horse, NAM are offering a hands-on session using genuine and replica artefacts from their handling collection. Sessions can take place in your venue, last 2-hours and are completely free of charge.
Working towards the 2014 World War One commemorations, the National Amy Museum and National Theatre have developed a new free session which uses the archives and handling collection to explore the history behind the story of War Horse. NAM Education Officers will come into your school or community group, and spend time with a class or year group who have been or will be audience members of the NT’s production of War Horse.
For schools - This could be a Drama, English or History focussed group: The aim of the workshop will be to enrich the students’ understanding of the 1914-18 War from an historical perspective. The workshop will explore the true stories of soldiers and horses that fought and died on the Western Front.
Bookers may add on a Creative Learning workshop which uses the NAM Handling Session as a stimulus for students to create their own multi-arts interpretations of WW1.
Places can be booked by contacting Creative Learning
War Horse Page-to-Stage Preshow Schools Event
Date: Wed 7 May
Time: 11.30am - 1pm
Cost: £3 per person
These onstage pre-show events are specifically designed to unlock the extraordinary creative learning opportunities of War Horse.
Young people will have the unique experience of interacting with members of the War Horse Creative and Acting Company and the National Theatre’s Learning team to explore some of the background principles of puppetry, the rehearsal and technical processes that have brought this magical production to life, as well as a chance to ask questions of company members at the end.
Tickets cost only £3 per person and can be purchased via the Sunderland Empire Box Office. Places are limited and places are only available to groups who have booked to see the show.
Post Show Q and A – Audience Event
Date: Thu 15 May
Time: Post Show (exact time TBC)
Audience members of the Thu 15 May evening performance are invited to make their way to the stalls after the performance for a brief Q and A which will be hosted by a member of the National Theatre production company.
Life Long Learning – War Horse Public and Private Theatre Tours
Dates: Coming Soon.
Cost: £8 per person
Take a step back in time on a special heritage tour of our wonderful theatre. Focusing on the history of the theatre during the Great War, hear the stories of Sunderland’s involvement in the War and how the theatre was affected.
Contact - Hollie Coxon, Creative Learning Manager
Creative Learning activities are subject to change.
PLEASE NOTE - Sunderland City Centre is currently undergoing major road works so we recommend allowing extra time for your journey. Also, please be aware of busy match days - full listings can be found at SAFC
Please use Google Maps to find directions. Our full address is:
Sunderland Empire, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3EX
If travelling by bus, we recommend Simply Go where you’ll be able to plan your journey.
Sunderland has fantastic parking. Here are a couple of options for you when visiting us, both a short walk to the theatre:
If travelling by train, we recommend The Train Line where you’ll be able to plan your journey. National Rail and the local Tyne and Wear Metro services are available.
Book online: Use the links below
Telephone Booking: 0844 871 3022
Customer Service: 0844 871 7627
Groups Bookings: 0844 871 3042
Access Bookings: 0844 871 7677 Mon-Sat, 9am-10pm. Sun 10am-8pm
Stage Door / Admin:* 0191 566 1057
*please note it is not possible to assist
with bookings on this number
Book online: Using the links below
Telephone Booking: 0844 871 3022
Groups Bookings (10+): 0844 871 3042
Access Bookings: 0844 871 7677 (Mon – Sat, 9am – 10pm. Sun 10am – 8pm. Bookings made via this line will be subject to booking fees and a transaction charge)
In person at the Box Office: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm, or 15 minutes after curtain up on performance days (normally 7.45pm). Sunday and bank holidays the Box Office is open 1 hour prior to performance time.