We’re thrilled to announce that The Cultural Spring alongside the MAC (Music, Arts & Culture) Trust are working together with internationally-acclaimed outdoor theatre company Periplum to open Sunderland’s brand new cultural venue, The Fire Station.

The event will be a spectacular live performance which will mark the opening of Sunderland’s newest arts hub. The project will also see an ambitious participatory programme delivered by partners – Live Theatre, Dance City and Sunderland Music Education Hub (SMEH) – who will work alongside Periplum.

Periplum has worked with composers, designers, engineers, and pyrotechnicians to deliver highly visual and emotionally explosive work in this country and abroad. Their work has included projects for the National Theatre, the British Museum, the BBC, Arts Council England and Brighton Festival. Local work has included projects with Gateshead Council and Stockton Riverside Festival. Upcoming projects include working in Krakow, Poland and Hull as part of the City of Culture 2017 celebrations.

How you can be part of the launch of Sunderland’s Fire Station

The hunt is on to find people who want to be part of The Fire Station opening. The project will be a Sunderland Dragon performance piece and a new take on the Lambton Worm taking place on 23rd November.

The large-scale, live performance will officially open The Fire Station with the help of 200 local people who will perform alongside Periplum. The community participation projects, which will feed into the performance, will start in September.

Emma Horsman, project director for The Cultural Spring, explained: “There will be two stages to the community sessions. The first few will be taster sessions in drama, dance and music, with our three delivery partners, Dance City, Live Theatre and Sunderland Music Education Hub, working together. The later sessions will be led separately by our partners and will give specific roles to our volunteers. They’ll be open to anyone with an interest in dance, music, movement or performance, from ages 16 and over, and to people of no experience to people with vast experience.”

The sessions will be hosted in venues in Pennywell, Pallion, Hendon and at Sunderland College. The opening performance, which will be a mixture of movement, music, pyrotechnics and drama, is expected to attract an audience of between 1,500 and 2,000 people and will be presented outside of and around The Fire Station on the same night as the city’s Christmas Lights switch on.

Helen Green, director of The Fire Station, said: “The opening event will be the culmination of months of workshops and rehearsals and we’re looking for as many local people to get involved as possible. We’re very excited by what Periplum have planned – it’s going to be a very special evening and a fantastic way to officially open what will be a game-changing venue in Sunderland. Periplum will be weaving in local stories and characters into the narrative, so will be speaking to lots of Sunderland people to hear their stories. The show will be a celebration of Sunderland, its people, its history, and its future – hopefully as UK City of Culture in 2021.”

So if you’re a keen dancer, performer or singer – we want you to be involved with this spectacular event.

To get involved please email:

michael.barrass@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

Rehearsals will start on Saturday 23rd November. Click here to download the full rehearsal schedule.