North East theatre-goers have reacted after Sunderland Empire's "Jesus Christ Superstar" performance was cancelled on Tuesday due to illness in the cast.

The theatre made a commitment to contact ticket-holders offering a refund or an option to reschedule.

Audience responses were varied, with some expressing disappointment for the last-minute cancellation.

John Dixon commented, "They would have gone ahead if they could have and most likely didn’t know until minutes before the cancellation was announced."

Dixon demonstrated understanding for the cast and crew, suggesting that they "deserve support not knocking".

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In contrast, Callum John expressed anger at the short notice, stating it was "disgraceful".

Stressing her travelling concerns, Pamela Collier said, "We are travelling down from the Northumberland Coast so I hope we get plenty of notice if the matinee is cancelled tomorrow."

Despite the misfortune, Michelle Donoghue attempted to lighten the mood with a humorous lyric from the musical, "Could we start again please".

Kam Chera defended the venue expressing that the production company should have communicated earlier.

Liz Dawson accepted the unfortunate situation saying, "Wishing the cast members a speedy recovery" and Nikki Noodle shared her disappointment for the late notice as they were travelling from Teesside.

The theatre made a follow-up announcement on Wednesday morning stating, "We’re delighted to announce that all remaining performances will go ahead as planned.

"Any guests who were due to attend last night and are yet to transfer over to another performance will be contacted directly by email with details of next steps.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."