This week’s newsletter is a round-up of local events from creative writing and live music to theatre and dance.

If you’d like your arts/culture events listed here and on the DfC website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), please send a Word document of about 150 words – including details of the event, cost, venue, dates and times – plus a good-quality jpeg file (minimum size 200KB) to

Council wants your views on future of Crown Street

Last year, Darlington Borough Council decided to keep the central library service at Crown Street and it plans to invest £2m in improvements and repairs.

The council is now seeking views from people about the future of the library service by asking two broad questions:

“What would you like to see provided as part of the library service in the central library (Crown Street) and elsewhere in the Borough?”

“Is there anything you wouldn’t want to see provided as part of the library service in the central library (Crown Street) and elsewhere in the Borough?”


Gareth Davies Jones at Neasham Reading Room

Highly regarded as a gifted and perceptive songwriter (BBC’s Bob Harris, Iain Anderson are fans), Gareth’s music is laced with a vivid and powerful sense of the aesthetic. A natural storyteller, reviewers have placed his performances alongside the best in the Troubadour tradition.

Combining elements of Guthrie, Dylan, Taylor and Browne, attention to musical detail is evident throughout his seven solo and three collaborative albums. He plays a variety of instruments and features a keen sense of melody woven around a rich, distinctive voice.

Opus 4 Jazz Club: Alan Barnes and the Paul Edis Trio

This effervescent and renowned reedman Alan Barnes will be at Opus 4 on Friday 8th February starting at 8pm; doors open at 7.30pm for the club’s revised start time.

Tickets for this concert are £12 on the door and the organisers advise early arrival to secure a table in view of the large turnout expected for with this event.

The club takes place at Travellers Rest, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER.

For more information, visit Opus 4 Jazz Club’s website, or follow the Jazz in Darlington at Opus 4 Home/facebook page.

Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club

It’s a bumber year for Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club as it welcomes a record number of bands to play lunchtime gigs at the town. There’s a total of 18 gigs booked throughout the year, up from the usual 12, which says so much about the popularity of the club.

On Saturday 16 February, the Club will host dynamic young street group Frog & Henry from the Big Easy itself. Formed in New Orleans French Quarter as a collective of several street performing groups, the band plays and records old dance and jazz music from the early 1900s on brass and string instruments, with plenty of vocals.

Saturday 2 March sees clarinetist and composer Adrian Cox visiting St Augustine’s with his show ‘Profoundly blue’, celebrating the music of his favourite clarinet player Edmond Hall.

  • The club takes place at St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. Doors open at noon for a 12.30pm to 3pm session.
  • The venue has free onsite parking, and a licensed bar that serves tea and coffee. Bring your own food for a picnic while the band is playing.
  • £10 at the door. Children under 16 free with an accompanying adult
  • Darlington for Culture members get a 20% discount on production of their membership card
  • For more information visit the club’s website

Darlington Folk Club

February events at The Forum, Borough Road
For the full list of gigs and events, please visit Tel: 01325 363135.

Friday 8th – Darlington RnB Club
Robin Bibi Band
Tickets £12/Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 9th – Hey Beatles
Playing all of the hits and eras of The Fab Four
Tickets £12/Doors 7.30pm

Valentines Night: Live Music from Hayley McKay & David Neil Crabtree
Ticket price includes 3-course Tapas sharing Platter
Tickets £17.50 – Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 16th – The Killerz
Tickets £12.50/Doors 7.30pm

Friday 22nd – Quadrophenia Night
Featuring The Atlantics +DJ Drew Stansall ( Ex Specials)
Tickets £12/Doors 7pm

Saturday 23rd – Electro Night
Featuring tributes to both Gary Numan & Yazzoo
Tickets £8/Doors 7.30pm

Burden of Paradise with Snake Davies

At Neasham Reading Room on Thursday 4 April 2019.

After a fantastic sell-out performance in 2018 Neasham Reading Room is delighted to announce the return of these great musicians.

Snake has played sax with M People, Eurhythmics, Take That, Ray Charles and many, many more. Band member Dave has played bass with Martha and the Vandellas, Edwin Starr and the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain. Helen from the trio has sung with The Eagles, Emmylou Harris and Little Feat. Burden of Paradise’s unique interpretations of evocative songs from Dylan to Dowland to Billie Holiday are spellbinding.

Darlington Music Society

This promoter of classical chamber music concerts in the North East brings the finest music played by world-class musicians to Darlington for live performances at reasonable prices. To find out more, visit the DMS website.

Please note: the Jubilee String Quartet concert, which had to be postponed on 6 October, has been rescheduled for Sunday 31 March 2019 starting at 3pm.

  • £14 per concert or £54 for a season ticket (there are six concerts in the year)
  • Tickets from the Dolphin Centre; season tickets available from Mr Tooze, 66 The Headlands, Darlington DL3 8RZ. Tel: 01325 467163

Darlington Piano Society

Concerts take place in Central Hall, Dolphin Centre.

Forthcoming concerts:
Mei Yi Foo (24th February) a virtuosic programme including works by Messiaen, Stravinsky and Balakirev
Leon McCawley (24th March), eminent British pianist in a programme celebrating early and late works

  • For full details of the society’s season, visit the society’s website
  • Season tickets – £55 – can be purchased using the brochure’s booking form or via the website
  • Tickets cost £12 for single recitals from the Dolphin Centre and on the door (U21 – £6)


Actors wanted

Local college Media Tutor is looking for older people, male or female, willing to act in front of a video camera.

It is for a specific project but also to practise film making. Film durations would be short, an hour, for example.

For details and to discuss further, call Karl on 07590 509161 or email

Performing Arts – competition

Darlington Festival for Performing Arts (DFPA) is a competition comprising three disciplines on three days: Music on Saturday 2nd March; Speech and Drama on Saturday 9th March; and Dance on Saturday, 5th October; all at Longfield Academy.

The organisation provides the opportunity for children and adults to perform competitively in front of professional adjudicators, showcasing their talents in Performing Arts. DFPA is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals. It is run by volunteers.

DFPA encourages entries for its competitions from all over the area and beyond incorporating state and private schools/private tutors and independently run music/speech and drama and dance schools.

Contact and entry information:

  • Visit the website for further information and costs
  • The syllabus for the March competitions is available at and together with entry forms
  • For more information about the speech and drama section contact, for music, and for dance
  • General Secretary, email

The Hullabaloo

Children’s theatre organisation Theatre Hullabaloo runs a programme of events at its flagship venue, The Hullabaloo, Borough Road, Darlington.

To buy tickets and for more information visit the website.


Darlington Academy of Performing Arts

Does your child enjoy acting, singing and dancing?

Regular classes take place at Hummersknott Academy.

For more information, visit the website.



The Majestic Theatre

An Evening of Mediumship with Toby Stockwell
Tuesday 5 March 7.30pm
The popular star of TV’s Street Psychic, Psychic Private Eyes and Psychic Academy, Tony Stockwell has a long-established credibility as one of the top Intuitive Mediums and has shared the stage all round the world with international mediums such as Colin Fry, James van Praagh and Lisa Williams.

Viva Neil Diamond
Friday 8 March 7.30pm
While performing in Las Vegas two years ago Bob Drury was described “one of the world’s finest vocal tributes to Neil Diamond” and he’s now back touring the UK with his new show celebrating the legendary Neil Diamond and his incredible back catalogue of songs.

History of Rock
Saturday 9 March 7.30pm
A must see for any fans of ROCK! Experience this iconic music brought back to life by an exceptional eight-piece band.

Friday 15 March 7.30pm
The George Michael Story
A musical journey of George’s biggest hits celebrating his life and generosity, with 5% of the profits being donated to George Michael’s Charities. To purchase tickets please use the following options, or

Saturday 16 March 7.30pm
All Shook Up
The sensational Andrew King as Elvis backed by the fantastic Central Park Band, will take you on a journey through the decades featuring all the Greatest Hits, from 1954-1977.

Friday 22 March 7.30pm
As a leading tribute to Coldplay they have played over 650 shows in 24 different countries. They pride themselves on attention to detail both musically and visually.

Miss Julie
Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 April 7pm
Strindberg’s electrifying play of sex and class comes to passionate life on the Majestic stage in a powerful new production by Elysium Theatre Company.

Death and the Maiden
Thursday 13 June 7.30pm
The award-winning London smash-hit play and subsequent feature film is revived in this exclusive tour by Baroque Theatre Company. Gripping high drama, with great intensity, this is a unique and first-rate thriller.

The Tina Turner Experience
Saturday 15 June 7.30pm
This live energetic show charts the life and career of one of the worlds iconic performers. Full of hits like “Private Dancer”, “Nutbush City Limits”, “Proud Mary”, “River Deep Mountain High” and “Let’s Stay Together” to name but a few, this show is the ultimate night out.

Darlington Hippodrome

For details of shows after the pantomime season, see Hippodrome launches spring season.


‘Almost A Memory’ at Town Hall

An exhibition of prints by local photographer Chris Walker takes place at The Town Hall Gallery Space,

‘Almost A Memory’ includes monochrome photographs illustrating decline and decay in the built environment and takes as its subject a derelict farm in the countryside to the north of Darlington.

Free admission during Town Hall opening times.

Exhibition is on until 22 February 2019.

The Bridge Centre

The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts launches its range of spring courses, term starts week beginning 14th January 2019. Check The Bridge website for start dates and prices.

The Bridge Centre is located at the junction of Yarm Road and Hundens Lane DL1 1ED and runs programmes of 10-week courses in a variety of arts media throughout the year as well as a programme of exhibitions by local artists and art groups.

The centre houses a variety of local groups and is available for private hire.

To book a course, email the artist before the start date or go to the first session and see the artist.

More information from The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts website.

Rejig’s Skills Courses – programme will include:

Fabric Dyeing
Bookmaking and Art Journals
Low-Tech Screen Printing
Embellishment and appliqué

The courses usually take place at South Park Education Centre, Darlington, £25, includes materials and light refreshments

Visit the website


Hilarity Bites Comedy Club brings the best of the UK and international comedy scene to venues throughout the North East of England.


Love Tango Darlington

This group dances both traditional Argentine and modern Nuevo Tango.

Class every Thursday 7.30pm followed by dancing until late with John Paul Tango at Haughton Le Skerne Working Men’s Club, 25 Haughton Green, Darlington DL1 2DD.

More details: call 01325 468738 or visit group’s Facebook page.

Harlequin Women’s Morris

From 8th January 2019, Harlequin Women’s Morris will be meeting to practise at a new venue: Village Hall The Green, Cleasby, N Yorks DL2 2QZ.

The group meets on Tuesdays from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

New dancers and/or musicians welcome to try this traditional English (North West) morris dancing. It is fun and helps keep mind and body fit; comfortable shoes and clothes are all that’s needed. First week is free, then £4 per week.

For further information call 01325 465129 or 07951 251004 or email


The Darlington Lecture Association

Lectures take place from September to April, usually second Monday of each month 7.30pm, at Carmel RC College, The Headlands, Darlington DL3 8RP.

Membership is £25; visitor entrance is £5.

For more information, visit the website, call 01325 363350 or email

11 February “Treasures of the Turf” Christopher Garibaldi
11 March “Putting on the Proms” David Pickard
8 April “The Wynyard Dynasty” Ron Tempest

Darlington Historical Society (DHS)

Talks and meetings are held at the Friends Meeting House, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7NG (accessed via the archway on Skinnergate) starting at 7.30pm. Annual membership £10 covering all talks. Visitors £3 per meeting.

For more information, visit the Darlington Historical Society website.

20 February 2019
Gertrude Bell: The uncrowned Queen of Iraq – with Gordon Hetherington

20 March 2019
The English Civil War in the North East – with Phil Philo

17 April 2019
Members evening and AGM
Hummersknott Allotments & SHA, Darlington’s Only Surviving Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden … The Movie – with Ted Lickrish

Darlington Embroiderers’ Guild

The local guild hosts talks each month. Meetings held at 1.30pm in Elm Ridge Methodist church hall. New members always welcome.

For more information, visit the website.


Creative writing courses with author Tracey Iceton

Creative writing
The long-running course at the Friends Meeting House in Skinnergate, Darlington, will continue on Tuesdays 6.30pm-9pm, fortnightly starting either 22 January (group A) or 29th January (group B). New members always welcome. The course is £55 per person, email Tracey Iceton.

Novel-writing masterclass
There will be a novel-writing masterclass at Cockerton Library on 9th February 1pm-3.30pm. This session will look at getting the crucial opening of the novel right in order to win over publishers/agents and, of course, readers. The session will be £15 per person.

To book, please email Tracey Iceton before 2nd February.

Open Mic for Writers

The next event is on 31st January. The nights are supported by Darlington for Culture and offer a forum in which writers can read their material and audiences can enjoy it, at the upstairs room at HASH, 14 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington DL3 7RG, usually on the last Thursday of the month, except July, August and December.

The nights give writers from Darlington and further afield the opportunity to read work including poetry, short stories, novel extracts and scripts to appreciative audiences, with up to eight minutes for each writer. Readers range from published authors to those just starting out on their writing careers, and pieces read out range from completed pieces to work in progress for which the authors are seeking feedback. A share of the proceeds is donated to Darlington for Culture to help further its work supporting arts and culture in the town.

  • Each session starts at 7pm
  • Cost of entry is £3 paid on the door

Writers meet

Bennet House Writers meet every Monday at 10.30am at Age UK, Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington DLI 5SX. The group read and discuss new and old work from members that includes poetry, short stories and novels. Further details can be obtained from Mary Sweeten on 01325 283401.


Group piano lessons for adults

Lessons with Tracey Chad ALCM(TD) DipLCM(TD).

At The Forum, Borough Road.

For information and to book, email



CPRE group
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington, meets in the Upstairs Restaurant, Dolphin Centre, Darlington, at 6.30 pm. Meetings are informal and usually held the third Tuesday in the month. They cover mainly planning applications and so give the opportunity to air any views on issues which could affect your quality of life. Please ring 01325 485107 to check dates and inform them of your attendance.

Darlington Amateur Gardening Club
They meet in Bondgate Methodist Church, Winston Street entrance, and the talk starts at about 7.20pm, after tea/coffee. For club information contact the club secretary on 01325 468870.

National Council of Women Great Britain
The National Council of Women (NCW) wants to ensure that women play a full role in our society. In Darlington they meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month between 10am and midday at the Millennium Centre, All Saints Church, Ravensdale Road, Darlington DL3 8DT. They welcome women from around the wider area. Want to know more? Then check out the NCW website or Twitter @NCWGB, call 01325 367375 or search for National Council of Women Great Britain on Facebook.

Keeping fit
Darlington Keep Fit Association’s regular sessions take place every Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm. at St Thomas Aquinas Church Hall, choreographed by Catherine Gilsenan, and every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm at Sadberge Village Hall, choreographed by Margaret Marston. Both are qualified teachers with regularly updated training, costs are £3.50 per session with a view to membership if liked. Ages range from 18 years upwards.


Raising funds thuaf5j929– do you shop online?

If you buy clothes, stationery, holidays, home appliances, IT gadgets, train travel or just about anything via you can raise free cash for Darlington for Culture every time you shop – at no additional cost to you.

Visit the easyfundraising website to find out to raise cash by shopping online at many popular retailers – including Amazon, Argos, eBay, Boots, Tesco, House of Fraser, Aviva, Lakeland,, and


Contact DfC:

Website – hosting is sponsored by Ephemeral Web Design. The site was designed by Resilient Business Systems)
Facebook – Darlington For Culture the official site
Twitter – @darloforculture
Email –

Postal address – Darlington for Culture Ltd, c/o Heritage House, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF.

Heritage Healthcare Heritage Healthcare - Which Franchise
Heritage Healthcare is a leading family-run business proud to offer more than 60 years’ experience and expertise in delivering excellent quality home-based care within the community. They can be contacted via or 01325 370700.

Do you have printed material about events?

The DfC information stand will be aat various events this year to help promote arts organisations and activities in the area, and we can help distribute your printed leaflets to potential audiences.

There is also an information stand in the foyer of Darlington Hippodrome with Darlington Culture Volunteers helping to promote events to the general public.

Post or deliver your leaflets to: Heather Carter, Darlington for Culture, c/o Heritage Healthcare, 10 Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF.