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Preview: Hello Kitty Live at Sunderland Empire

A Live Nation and Zen Tiger Live presentation in association with WME Entertainment.


Hello Kitty Live – Fashion & Friends
Sunderland Empire
Monday 5th October 2015

Sanrio GmbH, Live Nation and Zen Tiger Live in association with WME Entertainment officially announce the forthcoming launch of HELLO KITTY LIVE - FASHION & FRIENDS. The first chapter of series of live shows starring Hello Kitty, her family and the other Sanrio characters.

HELLO KITTY LIVE - FASHION & FRIENDS gives fans of all ages the first ever opportunity to physically enter the world of Hello Kitty as she takes to the stage live and in 3D for this World Premiere, the latest development in the continuing evolution of this global super brand.

Image: Andrew Timms
A 'Pop Show' in the truest sense, the soundtrack features high calibre artists including Charli XCX, Bruno Mars, Kylie Minogue, Echosmith, Clean Bandit, Flo Rida and many more.

See Hello Kitty like you've never seen her before as this fashion icon welcomes audiences into her world in a story that highlights the value of friendship, creativity, respect for nature and a love of learning.

Photo: Sanrio Puroland
The producers at Zen Tiger Live have assembled an accomplished creative team comprised of Richard Lewis, creative director of a long list of successful productions including Peppa Pig Live and Lazy Town Live; Del Mak, choreographer of TV show Got to Dance and LRNZ, one of the most acclaimed upcoming visual artists on the digital scene. Together they have created a fun-pack=
ed show, where the characters on stage and the animations on a mega HD screen interact with the public as the story unfolds.

Steve Homer, Promoter at Live Nation Entertainment, said 'We are delighted to have Hello Kitty Live - Fashion & Friends on our roster; she is a natural addition to a line-up of Global superstars we work with including Madonna, Rihanna and Beyonce.'

Image: Andrew Timms
Fans will also be invited to enter a competition to win the ultimate Hello Kitty fan prize - the 'Platinum Hug' VIP package at a venue of their choice, plus runner-up HELLO KITTY LIVE SUPER-FAN GOODY BAG prizes which will be full of exciting Hello Kitty merchandise.

An exclusive and limited series of HELLO KITTY LIVE - FASHION & FRIENDS merchandising will be available only at the show venues.

The official premiere will be in London on 8 October 2015 at the Hammersmith Apollo before the show departs for an extensive tour across the UK with future dates planned across Europe (to be announced).

Booking InformationBox Office: 0844 871 3022*
Groups 10+: 0844 871 3042
*Booking fee applies


Sunderland Empire
5pm Monday 5 October 2015
0844 871 3022

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
5pm Tuesday 6 October 2015
0844 871 7607

Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
7pm Wednesday 7 October 2015
0115 989 5555

Hammersmith Eventim Apollo
7pm Thursday 8 October 2015
0844 249 4300

Bournemouth Pavilion
11am & 3pm Saturday 10 October 2015
0844 576 3000

Northampton Derngate
1pm & 4pm  Sunday 11 October 2015
01604 624811

Edinburgh Usher Hall
1pm & 4pm Tuesday 13 October 2015
0131 228 1155

Aberdeen Music Hall
12noon &
3pm Wednesday 14 October 2015
01224 641122

Dundee Caird Hall
2pm & 5.30pm Thursday 15 October 2015
01382 434940

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
1pm & 5pm Saturday 17 October 2015
0141 353 8000

Manchester Palace Theatre
11am & 2.30pm Sunday 18 October 2015
0844 871 3019

Liverpool Auditorium
5pm Monday 19 October 2015
0844 8000 400

Stoke Regent Theatre
4.30pm Tuesday 20 October 2015
0844 871 7649

New Wimbledon Theatre
4.30pm Thursday 22 October 2015
0844 871 7646

St David's Hall Cardiff
5pm Friday 23 October 2015
029 2087 8444

Brighton Theatre Royal
1pm & 4.30pm Sunday 25 October 2015
0844 871 7650

Wolverhampton Civic Hall
11am & 3pm Monday 26 October 2015
0870 320 7000

Southend Cliffs Pavilion
11am & 2.30pm Wednesday 28 October 2015
01702 351135

Portsmouth Guildhall
11am & 2.30pm Thursday 29 October 2015
0844 847 2362

York Barbican
11am & 2.30pm Saturday 31 October 2015
0844 854 2757

Preview: The Ghost Train at Darlington Civic Theatre


The Ghost Train
Darlington Civic Theatre
Tuesday 30th June to Saturday 4 th July 2015

Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders
Darlington Civic Theatre
Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11 th July 2015

Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train steams into Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 30 June closely followed by Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders by Brian Clemens from Tuesday 7 July.

Talking Scarlet theatre company brings two star-studded casts to Darlington Civic Theatre as part of a spine-tingling summer thriller season.

The Ghost Train is the classic comedy thriller that follows a group of travellers (including a newlywed couple, an estranged couple, a self-indulgent young dandy and an elderly spinster with a parrot) stranded in the waiting room of an isolated railway station on a dark and stormy night. They are warned by the stationmaster that they will die if they see the ghostly train that haunts the line. Ridley’s inspiration came after becoming stranded overnight at Mangotsfield station in Bristol, now a disused station on the Midland Railway main line.

The production stars Jeffrey Holland (Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M'Lord?, Oh, Doctor Beeching!), Tom Butcher (The Bill, Doctors), Sophie Powles (Emmerdale), Judy Buxton (General Hospital, On the Up) and David Janson (Get Some In!, 'Allo 'Allo!, Keeping Up Appearances).

Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders tells of the grisly serial killings in Victorian Whitechapel, dubbed by the popular press at the time as the work of ‘Jack the Ripper’. Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are drawn into one of the darkest plots ever to shake the foundations of England

The production stars Andrew Paul (Coronation Street, The Bill), Neil Roberts (Holby City, Coronation Street) and Kim Taylforth (London’s Burning, Brookside).

The Ghost Train runs at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 30 June to Saturday 4 July. Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders runs from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 July.
Tickets* for both productions are priced from £12.60 with a double ticket offer to see both thrillers and save up to £10.
To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit  
*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.

Preview: Together Northeast at Customs House


Together Northeast
South Shields Customs House
Saturday 27th June 2015

Together Northeast is the first ever large scale festival in the region designed by people with learning disabilities, and there is quite a buzz about it.   The festival is on Saturday 27th June 2015 2-10pm.  It is taking place at the Customs House in South Shields and is open to everyone free of charge. The festival has been supported by Awards and of all as well as Local Councils, Health trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

What are the biggest issues for people with learning disabilities? Welfare reform, hate crime and equal rights to employment often hit the headlines. An issue often unaddressed is the right to party!

With the conviction that together everyone achieves more, the event will showcase the achievements of people with learning disabilities, including regional theatre groups, musicians and social enterprises. An inclusive fashion show, supported by Sunderland University, will see models strutting their stuff on the stage- declaring their position as visible, current, and worthy of a flashbulb or two! A film festival will screen original work by regional film-makers, whilst the outside space will play host to Bollywood dancing, street
theatre, live music, and a Latin American Party.

"I'm really excited about the Together North East festival. It's a real chance to show what people with a learning disability can achieve together. It's about bringing everyone together with or without a disability to show what having a good life means" (Jodie Williams, festival steering group member and co-chair of the Northeast Learning Disability Partnership).

Inclusion North is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and their families and carers.  It works throughout the Yorkshire, Humber and North East Region to support people in getting the lives they want. You can find out more here:

Preview: Dreamboats And Miniskirts at Sunderland Empire

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Whatever Happened To Bobby & Laura And Norman & Sue?

Dreamboats And Miniskirts
The Sequel To Dreamboats And Petticoats
Sunderland Empire
Monday 26th - Saturday 31st October 2015

Dreamboats And Miniskirts returns to theatres to showcase the greatest hit songs of the 60s with a visit to Sunderland Empire for one week only (Monday 26-Saturday 31 October 2015).

It is the sequel to Dreamboats And Petticoats,which premiered in Bromley in 2009, and became a musical phenomenon having played to more than two million people across the UK. Inspired by Universal’s multi-million selling album series which now boasts seven double compilation albums and a myriad of one off special releases!

It’s 1963 and the Petticoats gang are growing up and facing new challenges. Bobby and Laura’s first single, Dreamboats and Petticoats, went to the top of the charts, but they haven’t been able to repeat that success with any further records. Norman and Sue have settled down to non-marital bliss – and a baby! And Ray and Donna seem blissfully happy in their professional lives… but are they really?

Photo: Darren Bell
The advent of the Beatles and the Merseyside sound is inspirational. But will it inspire Bobby and Laura to have one more shot at stardom, Norman to “get off the drains” and find that hit parade voice he has longed for, and Ray to realise his ambition and manage a really top pop act?

All will be revealed in a follow up with the same wit, charm, and great songs as Dreamboats and Petticoats.

Photo: Darren Bell
Dreamboats and Miniskirts is written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesman, Shine on Harvey Moon, Save the Last Dance For Me and of course, Dreamboats and Petticoats, and is produced by Bill Kenwrightand Laurie Mansfield in association with Universal Music.

Featuring hit after hit from Twist & Shout to Handy Manto Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and many more, Dreamboats and Miniskirts is happiness guaranteed.

North East Theatre Guide Review from earlier in the tour: Dreamboats and Miniskirts Review

Photo: Darren Bell
Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at
*Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.

On Tour
23-27 Jun 2015 - Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
29 Jun-4 Jul 2015 - Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
6-11 Jul 2015 - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
13-18 Jul 2015 -The Grand Theatre, Leeds
21-25 Jul 2015 - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
27 Jul-1 Aug 2015 - Hippodrome Theatre, Bristol
3-8 Aug 2015 - Kings Theatre, Southsea
10-15 Aug 2015- Kings Theatre, Glasgow
18-22 Aug 2015 - His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
24-29 Aug 2015 - Empire Theatre, Liverpool
7-12 Sep 2015 - Mold Clwyd Theatre, Cymru
14-19 Sep 2015 - Grand Theatre, Swansea
21-26 Sep 2015 - Grand Theatre, Blackpool
28 Sep-3 Oct 2015 - Swan Theatre, High Wycombe
5-10 Oct 2015 - Churchill Theatre, Bromley
12-17 Oct 2015 - Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn
26-31 Oct 2015 –
Sunderland Empire, Sunderland

Preview: Mixtape - Edinburgh Festival

Bite-sized comedy inspired by music
Mixtape - Edinburgh Festival Preview
Newcastle Live Theatre
Friday 24th July 2015
Mixtape - Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Edinburgh Belly Laughs, at Underbelly Cowgate (venue 61)
Thursday 6thto Sunday 30th August 2015 

Mixtape is altering the comedy circuit with their unusual bite-sized sketches inspired by music. Part theatre show and part music quiz Mixtape is the perfect night out for comedy, theatre, music and pub quiz fans.

After a succession of sell-out shows at Live Theatre in Newcastle, and a successful festival tour in 2014 (to the Secret Garden PartyHijack and Larmer Tree Festival), Mixtape are proud to announce their Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut. They are bringing their unique brand of comedy to the Underbelly (venue 61) from the 6th to 30th August.

The Mixtape Team
The performers, called Mixtapers, take songs and using only the song’s lyrics create mini comedy sketches. At the Fringe, they’ll be presenting a selection of shows inspired by different music genres in the Underbelly’s Belly Laugh space at 10.20pm every night. The themes include The 80’s, Brit Pop, Girl Bands vs. Boy Bands and Rock ‘n’ Roll Jukebox. 

The rules? Only the lyrics from the song can be used to form the script and the running time of the sketch must not be longer than the track that inspired it. The lyrics can be reordered and repeated in any way that the Mixtape writers choose, but no additional words can be used to form the plays script (bar the occasional improvised ad-lib). 
Audiences can play along and every night they have the chance of winning the highly coveted Golden Mixtape if they manage to correctly guess the songs and bands or solo artists that inspired each short sketch. The players with the most correct answers will walk away with that evening’s Golden Mixtapetrophy. Plus, for the Fringe, they will also be awarding a limited edition purple Mixtape (a colour inspired by the Underbelly) for the best musically inspired costume. The team or player with the best outfit will win the Mixtape costume contest and receive this limited edition cassette tape.
Conceived by theatre director and writer Melanie Rashbrooke, Mixtape is a fun night of theatrical madness written and performed by some of the most exciting writers and theatre makers around. In addition to the sketches written by Melanie each Mixtape also features a selection of sketches written by guest writers. For the Fringe these include Traverse 50 writer Alison Carr (Fat Alice, Traverse),Lee Mattinson (who won the Royal Exchange’s inaugural Hodgkiss Award in 2014) and Nina Berry(Rendezvous, Live Theatre).

On Friday 24 July Mixtape will preview a selection of their favourite Edinburgh Fringe sketches at Live Theatre in Newcastle. This is a chance to see some of their Edinburghsketches first, before they head to the Underbelly for the summer.

Cast & Creatives:
Artistic Director and writer: Melanie Rashbrooke
Performers: James Barton, Steven Blackshaw, Adam Donaldson, Amy Foley and Zoe Hakin
Lee Mattinson and Nina Berry 
On The Web:
Follow updates on Twitter @ukmixtape or on Facebook at /mixtapetheatre

Date:                Friday 24 July 2015, 7.30pm
Venue:             Live Theatre, Newcastle 
Tickets:             £8 full price, £6 concession
Box office:       
 0191 232 1232 
SUITABILITY: 14+ contains some explicit content 

Dates:              Thursday 6 to Sunday 30 August 2015,
Venue:             Belly Laughs, at Underbelly Cowgate (venue 61) 
Tickets:             £11 - £7 full price, £10 - £7 concession
Box office:       
 0844 545 8252 
SUITABILITY: 14+ contains some explicit content