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Preview: Peter Pan at Sunderland Empire


Peter Pan
Sunderland Empire,
Friday 14th December 2018 – Sunday 6th January 2019

Martin Dodd for UK Productions will soaring back to Sunderland Empire next year, 14 December 2018 – 6 January 2019 with another high-flying, PAN-tastic pantomime adventure, Peter Pan!

From the producers behind this year’s gigantic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk comes Peter Pan, a pantomime with ship loads of festive fun! Audiences can hook their tickets from 10am, Thursday 21 December 2017.

Martin Dodd, UK Productions said: “Peter Pan is set to be another high-flying pantomime and we look forward to setting sail for Sunderland for the 2018/19 festive season and bringing another spectacular pantomime to the magnificent Sunderland Empire stage”.

This is one pantomime adventure not to be missed as it sets sail to Sunderland following the famous launch of the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland, 11-14 July 2018. So hoist the mainsail and get set to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael and John Darling, the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell and not forgetting the infamous Captain Hook!

Peter Pan promises to be another swashbuckling adventure with laughs-a-plenty, live music, flying and audience participation guaranteed! Star cast to be announced!

Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022* or from our affiliate ATG Tickets
*calls cost 7p per minute plus standard network charges. Booking and transaction fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.

Preview: Supervet at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

The Supervet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Saturday 20th October 2018

The Supervet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, is delighted to be bringing his first ever live stage show Welcome to My World to major arenas and theatres across the UK and Ireland in autumn 2018. This groundbreaking new show - a must for all animal lovers and fans of the TV show alike - will see Noel enlighten audiences with his incredible life story and explain how he became The Supervet we know and love.

When Noel conceived the hugely popular Channel 4 TV show The Supervet, he wanted to tell a story about love, a story about hope, with incredible science in the background. He recognised the important bond we have with animals, how they really are part of our family and how much we will do for them in return for the unconditional love which they give us.

Now you can join Noel on a journey from his early years in Ireland, where he was full of fantastical ideas, through to today where the future of medicine is full of incredible possibility.

Welcome to My World is a deeply immersive experience, which will transport Noel and the audience into a virtual theatre thanks to the very latest in creative technology, allowing him to illustrate some of his remarkable techniques in front of your very eyes.

This is a unique opportunity to encounter Noel’s pioneering bionic inventions first hand, as he takes to the stage to share how his past has helped pave the way for a more compassionate future for animals and those who love them.

Welcome to My World is a brand new live experience for animal lovers everywhere to really understand all that may be possible in the future within this breathtaking production.

“Come with me on my journey from a field in Ireland to a fantastical world of bionics and regeneration, where everything becomes possible. I am so excited to bring to you my live show and share with you my story. Welcome to my world.”


Tickets are on sale and are available online from our affiliate EVENTIM UK at, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office. Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply. Maximum 8 tickets per transaction.

Preview: Door-to-Door Poetry on tour

What do you think would happen if you knocked on a stranger’s door and offered to write them a poem?

Door-to-Door Poetry
ARC Stockton - Wednesday 11th April 2018
Sunderland The Peacock - Friday 20th April 2018
Newcastle Northern Stage - Tuesday 1st  - Wednesday  2nd May 2018

Two years ago Rowan McCabe became the world's first Door-to-Door Poet. Knocking on strangers’ houses, he asks what is important to them; he then goes away and writes a poem about this, free of charge, before bringing it back and performing it on their doorstep. He blogs about everything that happens to him at

Through this bold and arguably stupid act he asks: “Can anyone enjoy poetry?” and “Are strangers really as scary as they’re made out to be?” The project has been featured in the Guardian, on BBC Breakfast and was named ‘Best of Today’ on Radio 4.

‘Door-to-Door Poetry’ is the new show, directed by Peader Kirk (No More Worries, Indiana Jones and the Extra Chair) and it charts the full story of this weird and wonderful journey. Through a funny and thought-provoking mix of spoken word and theatre, find out about Rowan’s visit to a mosque in Newcastle, his journey to the most expensive houses in the region and his trip to a council estate in Stockton. 

About community and loneliness, at the heart of it all lies a simple, yet vital question: Can we really trust strangers?

“The most important contribution to cultural life from anyone in poetry recently”- Sophia Walker

"A must-see" - Tim Wells, Morning Star

Door-to-Door Poetry previews at ARC Stockton on Wednesday 11th April, 7.00 pm. Tickets are on a Pay What You Feel policy. Please book in advance at or by calling 01642 525199.

The show then goes to The Peacock in Sunderland on Friday 20th April, 7.30 pm. Tickets are £5 and are available from or by calling 0191 561 3455

The show  has two final dates at Northern Stage on Tuesday 1st  and Wednesday  2nd May, 8.00 pm. Tickets are £10.00 / £8 (conc) and are available from or by calling 0191 230 5151.

Supported by Arts Council England, Northern Stage, ARC Stockton, Sunderland Culture, Cultural Spring, New Writing North and Apples and Snakes.

Preview: Cornered at Sunderland Peacock


Sunderland Peacock
Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th April 2018

 Welcome to ‘Pie & a Play’ from Cranked Anvil!

After its successful sell-out run last September, Jeff Brown’s one-man play ‘Cornered’ is set to return to The Peacock in Sunderland in April this year.

Steve Arnott on stage as Dave Corner
The show, which starred Steve Arnott as ex-SAFC player David Corner, featured in the North-East Theatre Guide’s Best of 2017 list, in their ‘Proud to be in the North-East’ award.  Arnott will be returning to the role again this year, to tell the story of Dave Corner’s fateful day in 1985 playing against Norwich in the Milk Cup final at Wembley, and what happened to him afterwards.

Jeff Brown and Dave Corner in Q&A
As it proved so popular last year – and with many people unable to get tickets first time round – Cranked Anvil are delighted to be reviving this show, this time with a resident run at The Peacock.  Paul Scott, general manager of the venue, said: “The Peacock is quickly turning into an iconic and sought-after entertainment venue here in Sunderland, in the centre of the MAC Quarter.  We’re delighted to have Cranked Anvil back with us again with this brilliant play based around SAFC.”  The night’s entertainment also includes a Q&A with Jeff Brown and David Corner, a stand-up set from Sunderland comic David Callaghan, as well as a pie & pea supper served up by The Peacock’s chefs.  All for just £20 a ticket.
 Sunderland comic David Callaghan
About the play, Cornered by Jeff Brown…
On 24th of March 1985, a dream comes true for a young football player from Sunderland. just 18 years old, Dave Corner runs out onto the hallowed Wembley turf, to play in a cup final for his beloved home team.  Less than 90 minutes later, a slip up on the pitch turns the dream into his worst nightmare – from which his pride, his physical safety, and ultimately his career, never recovers.

This funny and at times poignant play by BBC Look North’s Jeff Brown finds out what happened to Davey Corner after that fateful day against the Canaries…

Tickets will sell fast, so head to their website to book soon.  Don’t miss out. The show runs Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th April 2018.  Doors 7pm, show starts 7.45pm.


REVIEW: Dave Spikey ★★★★ at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

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Dave Spikey: Juggling On A Motorbike ★★★★
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 29th March 2018

Newcastle’s Westgate Road venue continues to be one of the go to venues for comedy with one of their strongest programmes in recent years. Dave Spikey, the co-writer of Phoenix Nights, celebrates performing for over 30 years with a very funny introspective look at the people and circumstances that underpin the comedy that he created over the years.

Despite jointly writing some of the funniest shows on tv that this century has seen perhaps he still needs some introduction. His press blurb said: “Dave had been working in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words, “You’re really funny, you should be a comedian” and for some reason, he took them seriously!
Only a few short months later he was crowned the winner of the national talent show “Stairway to the Stars”. Larry Grayson, one of the judges, told him that it was a close run thing on the night but what clinched the award for Dave was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike.
Fast forward 13 years (Is that possible?) to Friday 13th October 2000 , the day Dave switched off his microscope for good and found himself, the following Monday, sitting on rain swept local car park dressed as a giant berry! So now in 2017 he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his comedy career.

This is one show that delivered what the PR blurb said it would. Dave used the first act to describe his early years. The funnier material works as we recognise the daft threats our parents used to get us to return home before dark or the absurd mathematical problems we faced at school. Indeed Jack may have decided to solve the angle of a ladder using trigonometry but most of us never needed to once we left school. Of course, school days comes with crazy friendships and often your first embarrassing encounter with the opposite sex and Dave had a take on this too that had the Opera House laughing along.

Dave Spikey is a collector of local news and he brought both some recent examples and some of his all time favourites to the show. These stories confirm that real life is often funnier than fiction.

The second act brought the story up to date from his time working for the NHS in an era when pregnancy tests still involved mice and TB was still a curse that spread throughout society. Dave naturally finds the amusing take on even the most harrowing events. Luckily for us all, Dave then gets involved in the hospital panto and discovers he can entertain and that leads to the talent show win. As I’ve mentioned in reviews, I had time both as a customer and a member of staff in Working Men’s Clubs and hence I totally recognise the difficulties Dave would have faced trying to become established in a land before comedy clubs became established. Indeed, these experiences later formed the basis of That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights. But this is the key to why Spikey’s material works – it is based upon a real life. The fact that Spikey has spent years living and working in the real world has resulted in material that the audience can relate to and hence find it so funny.

This was a great night of comedy and the 2 hours quickly passed. Many of our first experiences of comedy were at the Tyne Theatre from the 90s when the venue hosted one of the regions first comedy clubs. The venue also featured on the tours of many of the biggest names at the time. We loved shows by Jack Dee, Jo Brand and Steve Wright. Fast forward to 2018 and the Tyne Theatre and Opera House is still the venue the bigger names love to have on their tour. The venue feels intimate for a great atmosphere and yet is big enough for the big tours.

Coming up at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House with ticket links from our affiliate Eventim UK:

Sarah Millican will be appearing on Friday 6, Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 April, Thursday 5, Friday 6 & Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 July, Friday 5 & Sunday 6 October

Easter Panto from Enchanted Entertainment over the Easter weekend - Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April

Jon Richardson: Old Man on Wednesday 25 April Tickets:

Menopause the Musical on Thurs 10 May - Starring Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Hilary O’Neil (ITV’s Copy Cats)

Britain’s Got Talent comedian Daliso Chaponda on Saturday 12 May 2018

Tim Vine: Sunset Milk Idiot on Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 May Tickets:

Joe Lycett: I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett - Fri 25 May 2018 and Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 October – Tickets:

Count Arthur Strong is Alive and Unplugged on Thursday 7th June 2018

Andy Parsons will be appearing as part of Jason Cook's Comedy Club on Saturday 16th June Tickets:

Cirque Berserk on Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th June
Preview: Tickets:

Comedy Dirty Dusting arrives on Friday 29th June with ITV Benidorm's Crissy Rock.
Tickets: #Ad

An Evening with David Sedaris Tuesday 17 July

An Evening with Brian Blessed on Thursday 6th September
Preview:  Tickets:http://

Jimeoin on Saturday 27 October! Tickets:

Dylan Moran on Friday 9th Nov. Tickets:

Sara Pascoe Thursday 18th November

David O’Doherty: You Have To Laugh on Tuesday 27 November Tickets:

Stewart Francis: Into the Punset on Wednesday 28 November Tickets:

For more details about the Tyne Theatre & Opera House and to join their web club see  


News: Young Cast Wanted For Customs House Show


Young Cast Wanted For Customs House Show
The Customs House is looking for creepy and kooky young actors to join its Summer School production of The Addams Family.

And if they’re mysterious and spooky too, all the better!

The Addams Family started as a cartoon series in The New Yorker, penned by American cartoonist Charles Addams, which ran from 1938 until his death in 1988.
The macabre household has since been depicted on TV, in both live action and animated form, in film and most recently, on Broadway and the West End in a new musical comedy.

It is this musical version that will be adapted by The Customs House Summer School this year and applications to take part are now open.

The Addams Family characters are Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children, Wednesday and Pugsley, close family members Uncle Fester and Grandmama, their butler Lurch, the disembodied hand Thing and Gomez’s Cousin Itt.

Director Gareth Hunter
Director Gareth Hunter said: “The Addams Family is a great show full of catchy tunes and comedy moments. People may not know the show, but they know the characters and the quality and talent that the Summer School has become known for. We are looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces and hopefully new ones at the auditions.”

Gomez was played by John Astin in the 1960s live action TV series, Raul Julia in The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values films in the early 1990s and Tim Curry in the TV film The Addams Family Reunion in 1998.

Morticia - the real head of the eccentric family - has been portrayed by Carolyn Jones in the original TV series, Anjelica Huston in The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values and Daryl Hannah in The Addams Family Reunion.

Last year’s Summer School cast for Legally Blonde 
The Addams Family Musical opened on Broadway in 2010, starring Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia, which was followed by a North America tour in 2011 and a UK tour in 2017. Featuring an original story, it sees Gomez do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his wife when his daughter confides in him that she has fallen for a ‘normal’ boy. So what happens when they invite his family over for dinner?

Last year’s Summer School production of Legally Blonde was named Best Amateur Musical in the North East Theatre Guide Best of 2017.

Gareth will be joined once again by an award-winning team of Andrew Clarence as musical director and Hazel Pude, who will be in charge of choreography.

The Customs House Summer School is open to children aged eight to 21 and runs from Monday, July 23, to Sunday, August 12. The production will conclude with five performances over three days.
The project will be held at The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields, working between the hours of 10am and 5pm, with some weekends and additional rehearsals for principal roles. There is a participation fee, but some funded places are available.
To take part, download an application form from The Customs House website and return it with two passport-sized photographs no later than Monday, April 16.
All applicants will be invited to attend an audition on Sunday, April 22, from 10am to 5pm.

Make THEATRE your family thing this spring at Sunderland Empire!

Make THEATRE your family thing this spring at Sunderland Empire!

An array of show stopping productions are guaranteed to put a spring in your step this half term, so grab the family and make theatre your thing!

First up, Birmingham Royal Ballet present the mesmerising tale of Coppélia(4-7 April  – Affiliate Ticket Link: with three fantastic ways for the whole family to enjoy the much-loved classic.
For younger family members, First Steps: a child’s Coppélia (Affiliate Ticket Link is an hour-long interactive show, specially adapted for children aged 3+ and Introduction to Coppélia (Affiliate Ticket Link is perfect for newcomers to ballet with a similar format to First Steps, but re-imagined for adults and older children, both just £10pp.
A timeless classic, Coppélia will pirouette into Sunderland for just 4 performances to tell the tale of eccentric toymaker Dr Coppélius and his greatest creation, the doll Coppélia. When he leaves the doll Coppélia, on his workshop balcony she’s soon causing quite a stir in the village. Lovers Franz and Swanilda both want to find out what is going on; but things are even stranger than they seem. With a wild mix of abracadabra, comic chaos is unleashed as Dr Coppélius tries to bring Coppélia to life and Swanilda tries to stop him.

BAFTA award-winning actor Justin Fletcher is back with a brand new show for 2018, Justin’s Band (Affiliate Ticket Link, following two sell-out shows last year, join Justin and his friends on a musical adventure for two performances only on Sunday 8 April (11am and 3pm). So get set for fun and laughter plus lots of songs and learning about musical instruments along the way.

Next up get ready for toe-tapping fun and all that jazz as Broadway’s smash hit, Thoroughly Modern Millie (10-14 April – Affiliate Ticket Link: takes centre stage at Sunderland Empire with TV favourite Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) as the adorable Millie. The hilarious musical comedy features spectacular dance routines and great songs and is set to be a brilliantly funny and entertaining show for all the family this Easter half term from 10-14 April, with half price* tickets for under 16’s (Tues-Thurs). *T&C’s apply.
Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film. Taking you back to the height of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York City, when ‘moderns’ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online from our affiliate ATG Tickets at *
*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your plus your phone company's access charge. Booking and transaction fees may apply.