Go behind the scenes at Sunderland Empire Theatre

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

Tread the same boards as a young Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and the Beatles on a tour of this enchanting old Edwardian theatre.

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Sunderland Empire Theatre is more than simply a venue for live music, drama and comedy. This gilded auditorium has witnessed over a century of colourful showbiz hi-jinks, mishaps and intrigue – and even, some say, ghostly encounters.

Take a theatre tour to hear all the most scandalous backstage gossip, to admire the original Edwardian décor and to stand on the same stage that once supported the likes of the Beatles, Marlene Dietrich, Gracie Fields, Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin.

Just keep an ear out for any ghostly laughter. Rumour has it that a beloved English comedian called Sid James, who died on stage here in 1976, still haunts the theatre. 

Sunderland Empire is the largest theatre between Edinburgh and Leeds and plays host to many touring West End shows including Billy Elliot, The Sound of Music, Sister Act and Cats.

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