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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

    BSL Performances

    Mamma Mia: Wed 8 Nov - 7.30pm

    Wicked: Tue 6 Sep - 7.30pm

    Matilda: Thu 17 May, 2018 - 7.30pm

    Jack and the Beanstalk: Wed 3 Jan, 2018 - 7pm

    Signer position is subject to change without notice.

    Captioned Performances

    Mamma Mia: Tue 31 Oct – 7.30pm

    Wicked: Thu 20 Sept, 2018 – 7.30pm

    Matilda: Thu 24 May, 2018 – 7.30pm

    Audio Described Performances

    Mamma Mia: Sat 4 Nov – 2.30pm

    Wicked: Thu 13 Sept, 2018 – 7.30pm

    Matilda: Tue 22 May, 2018 – 7.30pm


    Relaxed Performances

    Gangsta’ Granny: Sat 13 May – 10:30am

    Jack and the Beanstalk: Wed 27 Dec – 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.

Sat 26 - Sat 02
Aug 2017   Dec 2017
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Tue 29
Aug 2017
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Wed 06
Sep 2017
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Sep 2017
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Sep 2017
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Sun 10
Sep 2017
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Mon 11 - Sat 16
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Tue 19 - Sat 23
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Sep 2017
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Oct 2017
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Tue 10 - Sat 14
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Tue 17 - Sat 11
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Sun 19
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Thu 23
Nov 2017
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Nov 2017
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Dec 2017
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Fri 15 - Sun 07
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Sun 17 - Sat 30
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Jan 2018
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Wed 24
Jan 2018
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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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Thu 15 - Sat 17
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Mar 2018
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Mar 2018
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Tue 06 - Sat 10
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Tue 13 - Sat 17
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Thu 03
May 2018
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Tue 08 - Sat 02
May 2018   Jun 2018
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Sat 21
Jul 2018
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Thu 06 - Sat 29
Sep 2018   Sep 2018
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