Asunder, the story of Sunderland during the First World War

To mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Sunderland Cultural Partnership and 1418 Now have come together to create Asunder – one of the North East’s most significant commemorations of the WW1 Centenary.

In 1916 the North East was in the front line, thanks to its shipyards and munitions factories. Asunder will tell the story of what happened to a typical British town during the First World War, with virtually all of its men abroad fighting and all of its women and children left behind.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The North East's very own X-Factor winner Joe McElderry dons the coveted coat in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!

Having enjoyed sensational reviews, Bill Kenwright’s “Amazing”, “Superb”, “Wonderful” and “Brilliant” production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance.

Snakes Alive!

Snakes Alive...a slither into a secretive life

Discover the amazing world of snakes and come face to face with live snakes and find out all about these fascinating reptiles.

See boa constrictors, pythons, corn snakes and king snakes. Learn about what they eat and how they catch their prey; where they live and hide; how they reproduce and grow and much more.

The International Garden Photographer of the Year

International Garden Photographer of the Year is the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography. Run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the main exhibition is held annually at Kew, with a rolling programme of touring exhibitions all over the world.

The exhibition is on show at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens showing over 60 entries in the 2015 competition.

Doors open for Arts Centre celebration

Arts Centre Washington is throwing open its new (automatic) doors for a fun filled ‘Open Day’ on Saturday 19 March.

The daylong celebration will marks the completion of work to improve facilities at the centre, following a £257,609 grant from Arts Council England and further investment from Sunderland City Council.

There will be activities to take part in, performances to watch and exhibitions to see or just wander around the studios inhabited by a number of local creative businesses.

Activities, workshops and performances for all ages include:

Beyoncé - The Formation World Tour

Beyoncé, one of the biggest female artists of all time, is set to light up the North East in the summer following the announcement of her hotly-anticipated world tour.

Recognised as the most powerful woman in the music industry and Billboard’s Artist of the Millennium, Beyoncé will take to the stage at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in what will be the prestigious opening night of the European leg of the Formation World Tour, on Tuesday 28 June, 2016.

Latest news and information

Penshaw Bowl

Penshaw Bowl takes place on Good Friday at Herrington Country Park from 12 noon.

This year’s event will once again centre around a traditional egg rolling competition in the Amphitheatre at Herrington Country Park. Other free activities will include a craft market, live music and a range of traditional children’s games.

All children aged eleven and under are welcome to take part in the egg roll which will be opened by The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Sunderland.

Annie the Musical

Annie, the world's favourite family musical, starring Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan!

Set in the 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is force to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan's orphanage.

Determind to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie's Search. 

Family of 4 - £5 off per person, Mon – Thu (Price bands A & B).


A tadpole catching competition challenges a superhero duo to overcome rivalry and harness their strengths. Working as team, can they save the world…together?

Superheroes with a BIG problem – a very disgruntled Mission Control (voiced by Sue Johnston OBE – Downton Abbey, The Royle Family)

Captain Clever is good at code breaking and problem solving, whilst Captain Conker is super-fast and not scared of anything - except, perhaps spelling… 

M6's exciting new production Tadpoles is a highly visual and energetic play about rivalry, strengths, weaknesses and superheroes!


Did you know?

Sunderland's Friendship Agreement with Washington DC makes us the only city in Europe to enjoy such a relationship with the world's most powerful city. Washington Old Hall is home to the direct ancestors of the first president of the United States of America.


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