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Sunderland Empire

Vesta Tilley laid the foundation stone of what is now the Sunderland Empire on 29 September 1906 and took to the stage on 1 July 1907 to officially declare the theatre open. 

The Theatre was masterminded by two of the contemporary heads of British theatre, Edward Moss and Osward Stoll, but it was a third man, Richard Thornton, who bears far greater significance to the Sunderland Empire. Thornton, originally from South Shields, came from the lowly beginnings of a... Read more >>

Sunderland Empire

Sunderland Empire Access

Booking Information

  • Access Booking line: 0800 912 6971

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 sunderlandboxoffice@theambassadors.com.

Venue Access Information

  • 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.

    Access performances

    British Sign Language Performances

    Mamma Mia - Wed 8 Nov at 7.30pm
    Wicked - Thu 6 Sep 2018 at 7.30pm

    Captioned Performances

    Mamma Mia - Tues 31st Oct at 7.30pm

    Audio Described Performances

    Mamma Mia – Sat 4 Nov at 2.30pm
    Wicked - Thu 13 Sep 2018 at 7.30pm

    Relaxed Performances

    Gangsta Granny – Sat 13 May at 10.30am
    Orchestras Live – Sun 26 Mar at 3pm 
    Jack and the Beanstalk - Wed 27 Dec at 5pm 

    Supported Experiences

    During a supported experience usual arrangements are in place within the auditorium, including latecomer’s rules, and there are no technical adjustments to the performance.
    Families should expect pyros, possible strobes and loud sound effects. Those who are sensory sensitive are advised to bring any equipment needed for support e.g. ear defenders.
    This is not a Relaxed Performance.

    What we can offer is:

    ·  Quiet spaces.
    ·  TV relay of the performance in Dress Circle bar.
    ·  Preparation pack available – Visual Story and Widget symbol resource, explanation of the story and characters.
    ·  Familiarisation visits can be arranged.
    ·  Supportive staff attending will be present.
    ·  Early entry into Auditorium may be able to be arranged but not guaranteed.
    ·  Families are urged to get in touch with us to explain what specific support they need to help support their visit.


  • Open captioned and audio described performances are sometimes scheduled. To be kept up to date, please email sunderlandboxoffice@theambassadors.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.

Sun 26
Mar 2017
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Thu 30
Mar 2017
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Sat 01
Apr 2017
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Tue 04 - Sat 08
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Sun 09
Apr 2017
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Tue 18 - Sat 22
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Sat 29
Apr 2017
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Mon 01 - Sat 06
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Wed 10 - Sun 14
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Sun 21
May 2017
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Tue 23 - Sat 27
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Sat 03
Jun 2017
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Jun 2017
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Wed 14
Jun 2017
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Fri 16 - Sat 17
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Mon 19 - Sat 24
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Mon 26 - Sat 01
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Sat 29
Jul 2017
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Tue 01 - Sat 05
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Thu 10
Aug 2017
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Tue 29
Aug 2017
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Wed 06
Sep 2017
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Thu 07
Sep 2017
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Fri 08
Sep 2017
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Mon 11 - Sat 16
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Tue 19 - Sat 23
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Mon 25 - Sat 30
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Thu 05
Oct 2017
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Tue 10 - Sat 14
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Tue 17 - Sat 11
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Mon 20 - Wed 22
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Fri 15 - Sun 07
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Fri 26
Jan 2018
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Sat 27
Jan 2018
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Wed 31 - Sun 11
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Tue 06 - Sat 10
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Tue 20 - Sat 31
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Mon 16 - Sat 21
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Thu 06 - Sat 29
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Sun 14
Oct 2018
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