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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 prior to your visit to us by emailing SunderlandEducation@theambassadors.com

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 (BSL) Performances

    Matilda: Thu 17 May, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Wicked: Thu 27 Sep, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Miss Saigon: Mon 5 Nov, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Peter Pan: Friday 4 Jan, 2019 – 7pm

    Signer position is subject to change without notice.


    Captioned Performances

    Matilda: Thu 24 May, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Wicked: Thu 20 Sept, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Miss Saigon: Tue 6 Nov, 2018 - 7.30pm


    Audio Described Performances

    Matilda: Tue 22 May, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Wicked: Thu 13 Sept, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Miss Saigon: Thu 1 Nov, 2018 - 7.30pm


    Relaxed Performances

    Awful Auntie: Sat 30 Jun, 2018 - 10.30am

    Peter Pan: Thu 27 Dec, 2018 – 5pm

    For further information about the Relaxed Performance click here.

    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.

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