Wicked flies back to Sunderland

Wicked flies back to Sunderland

Wicked, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to confirm that its spectacular, multi record-breaking and critically acclaimed touring production will return to the Sunderland Empire in 2018.

One of the most successful productions in the venue’s history, Wicked was previously seen by over 56,000 people during its celebrated engagement in Spring 2015.

Wicked returns for four weeks only from Tuesday 4 September to Saturday 29 September 2018 and tickets go on sale on Wednesday 1 February 2017.

Executive Producer Michael McCabe said: “We were overwhelmed by the incredible response from audiences and critics alike when we first brought Wicked to the Sunderland Empire in 2015 for our North East England premiere, and it is extraordinary to think that almost 60,000 came and saw us. Ben Phillips and his great team at the Sunderland Empire showed such tremendous enthusiasm and support, and we’re all really delighted to return to this magnificent venue.”

Sunderland Empire General Manager Ben Phillips said: “We are delighted that the spectacular multi-award winning production of Wicked will fly back to our magnificent theatre in 2018. The North East debut in 2015 left audiences spellbound with nearly 60,000 experiencing this global phenomenon over a 4 week engagement and we relish the opportunity to host this magnificent production once again.”

Acclaimed as “one of the greatest musicals of our time” (Daily Mail), “a magical mystery tour through the fantasyland of Oz” (London Evening Standard) and “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students and their extraordinary adventures in Oz, which will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters originally created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked has become a global phenomenon featuring astounding technical wizardry, stunning costumes and show-stopping songs by three-time Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz.

This spectacular production of Wicked played a fifteen-city tour of the UK & Ireland from September 2013 - July 2015, winning five-star rave reviews at every venue. It resumed touring in July 2016 to embark on a major international tour including engagements in Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai and Beijing, before a much anticipated return to the UK & Ireland in 2018.

Wicked is already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history and recently celebrated a decade of performances at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it continues an open-ended run. Around the world, Wicked has now been seen by over 50 million people in 15 countries, and won over 100 major awards.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell and Disney’s Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted) and is based on the acclaimed novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced around the world by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK/International Tour) Michael McCabe.

Casting for the 2018 UK & Ireland Tour is to be announced.


Wicked in numbers

  • Wicked was seen by over 56,000 people in its first visit to the Sunderland Empire in 2015.
  • By the time this acclaimed production of Wicked returns to Sunderland it will have travelled almost 12 thousand miles (by road, sea and air) since its debut in Manchester on 12 September 2013.
  • Almost 1.5 million theatregoers have seen this production to date.
  • This “ultimate Broadway experience” (The Northern Echo) features 350 stunning costumes, 140 wigs, 244 pairs of shoes, 110 hats, 125 pairs of gloves and 30 prosthetic masks.
  • It takes 100 people, both on-stage and behind the scenes, to delivery every single performance of this gigantic touring production that has been acclaimed as “every bit the West End show” (The Public Reviews).

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Did you know?

2013 marked 21 years since Sunderland city status from HM The Queen, on 23rd March 1992.


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