dfc for jazz festival

Hello and welcome to our weekly newsletter, updated on September 22

Darlington Green Theatre are performing The Comedy of Errors at Crown Street Library at the end of September.
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A chance to shine
There is an opportunity for local talent to shine in the Roundabout Theatre in Darlington on Sunday 8 October.
Roundabout is the world’s first pop-up, plug-and-play theatre. It flatpacks into a lorry and is popping up in Darlington’s Market Square from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 October as part of Darlington Theatre Town.
On Sunday 8 October from 2pm to 4pm the Roundabout will be hosting a special event showcasing some of the talented folks of Darlington.
The search is on for acts which are of the spoken word (an excerpt from a play for example) or acoustic music. Your act should last no more than ten minutes in length and be suitable for a family audience. If you are interested in being considered please send your name, contact details and a short outline of your act to All performers chosen for a slot on the day will be given a free family ticket to the Darlington Hippodrome family pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You must be 14 years or over to submit an application.
Darlington Theatre Town is an exciting new initiative has launched in Darlington to bring ambitious and high quality theatre to the town. The project brings together the expertise of partners Creative Darlington, Darlington Hippodrome, Luxi, Theatre Hullabaloo and ODDMANOUT to cement Darlington’s place as a Theatre Town and a place where theatre thrives.
The project, funded by the Arts Council and Darlington Borough Council, grew from the opportunity presented by the redevelopment of the Civic Theatre (opening as Darlington Hippodrome in November), the exciting development of Theatre Hullabaloo’s new theatre for young audiences, The Hullabaloo, and the momentum that has built over the last couple of years around theatre in unusual places by events such as the award-winning Jabberwocky Market.

Darlington and South Africa to embrace the true spirit of cultural exchange through theatre

Darlington-based theatre company, ODDMANOUT, has formed an international collaboration with The Market Theatre Laboratory, Johannesburg, for a new production, examining womanhood in 2017.
A female led project, Encountering the Other, will combine an exciting fusion of live and digital performance and is set to challenge perception, demand empowerment and unite cultures through conversation and creation.
Through a series of workshops and rehearsals, in both the UK and South Africa, participants in the project will explore the themes and issues surrounding the lives of young women today, culminating with two performances at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre, South Africa, on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October 2017 at 7:30pm and a further one-off performance at the newly restored, Darlington Hippodrome on Monday 27th November, at 7.30pm.
Throughout the week of the Darlington showcase, the full cast, who are flying in from South Africa for the occasion, will be holding exciting workshops for budding North East actors in Darlington.
Priding itself on creating work with a strong focus on social change and theatre with story-telling at its heart, ODDMANOUT still maintains its roots firmly in Darlington, after being established in 2013, by North East theatre makers, Katy Weir and Scott Young.
Wanting to share its skills, knowledge and practises, ODDMANOUT will also be holding creative workshops in Darlington in the later coming months to help shape the direction and approach of future work, through regular engagement with local communities.
Katy, who has previously travelled to South Africa, with the Swallows Foundation UK said: ‘We’re very excited about the collaboration and the global profile of this project.
“We aim to achieve mixed gender, class, and race participation, providing a more inclusive outcome in a way that transcends more than just cultural divides, but also, divides of gender, class and sexuality.”
For more information on the performance, please visit:

2018 Darlington Arts Festival is announced
Darlington for Culture (DfC) is seeking to hear from arts groups, venues, performers and businesses who would like to showcase themselves in the sixth Darlington Arts Festival
The festival, again to be staged at a wide range of venues across the borough, is being co-ordinated by DfC, the group which speaks for arts and culture in the area. Limited funding will be available for some events.
Planning is well under way for the 2018 festival, which will include a wide range of activities, taking in everything from music and art to literature and film.
The Festival will start on May 19, 2018, and finish on June 3. As well as including regular events taking place during the two weeks, DfC would like to encourage groups to put on a one-off event to give the Festival a more celebratory feel.
DfC Chair Jo Potter said: “Planning is now well under way for Darlington’s sixth Arts Festival and our Festival Co-ordinator Jane Hindle is keen to hear from people with any proposal for an event that would benefit from inclusion and promotion under the Festival banner.
“I look forward to another exciting Festival and urge all artists and performers to take this opportunity to showcase their talent.”
Jane Hindle said: “I’m looking forward to working with the many artists, performers and groups taking part in the Festival and welcoming newcomers to join in the celebrations.”
Darlington for Culture is pleased to be able to offer three grants of up to £500 for proposals for new events to be included in the Festival. Those interested should contact Stephen Wiper of Festival supporter Creative Darlington ( for application details
You can find out more, or suggest an event, by contacting by February 1, 2018.
Other festival supporters include
Resilient Business Systems
Ephemeral Web Design
Forum Music Centre, run by Humantics

A family fun arts day will be held in Darlington on October 29. The event has been supported by one of Darlington for Culture’s small arts grants. IF this poster does not open, click on

Music news
African choir to perform
The Pearl of Africa Choir returns to St Augustines Church (30, Coniscliffe, Darlington, DL3 7RG) on Saturday 7 October at 7pm with their hugely popular performance of African song and dance in tribal costume.
Everyone is welcome and, while there is no admission charge, there will be a collection. Proceeds of the collection are used to fund their school and orphanage in Kampala. The Choir will also be selling crafts/fashion accessories, which they make. 

Darlington Folk Club

There is loads of other brilliant music coming up in Darlington, including the newly-released Autumn programme of Darlington Folk Club, the new seasons from the Darlington Piano Society and Darlington Music Society and the latest offerings from the New Orleans Jazz Clubs, plus plenty to enjoy at The Forum and disco nights at Voodoo Cafe. You can check out on our The Town Is Alive With the Sound of Music blog at

Literary news
The new season of Open Mic nights for authors will begin on Thursday September 29.
The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture and which offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.
The nights have given dozens of writers from Darlington and further afield the opportunity to read work including poetry, short stories, novel extracts and scripts to appreciative audiences.
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. It all makes for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Each session starts at 7pm and the cost of entry is £3 paid on the door. More information is available from Inscribe Media Limited at
A share of the proceeds are donated to Darlington for Culture to help further its work supporting arts and culture in the town.

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.

Regular events

Courses, workshops and crafts groups, including for children

Fancy learning a new skill or brushing up on an old one? Then head to our courses pages at

Group meets
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.

Talks and lectures

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 or search for National Council of Women Great Britain on Facebook or for the local group ring Mary Drury on 01325 380665.

Darlington Historical Society talks:
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.
More information at
Wednesday 18 October 2017
Oswald, King of the North

Wednesday 15 November 2017
The World War 1 Memorial, Eastbourne, Darlington

Wednesday 20 December 2017
The Langworthy Mystery with Tony Nicholson

Wednesday 17 January 2018
North East Film History

Wednesday 21 February 2018
From rainwater Tubs To Taps: A history of Tees Cottage Pumping Station

Wednesday 21 March 2018
Medieval Towns and Villages in Tees Valley

Wednesday 18 April 2018
North Road Head of Steam Museum

Darlington Lecture Association
Darlington Lecture Association begins its 135th season with events held at Carmel RC Collge, The Headlands. Membership and visitor enquiries from 01325 356876 or at
Monday 9th October 2017 at 6.45pm
President’s Evening followed at 7.40pm by
Charles II – Art and Power
Profligate, philandering and someone who “never said a witty thing/And never did a wise one,” if we are to believe one of the few printable coinages by the outrageous Earl of Rochester. On the other hand, he did fold back his frilly cuffs and join the hoi polloi fighting the Great Fire, he did lift the joyless cloud that had hung over society in the Cromwell era and he was thoughtful enough on his death-bed to plead that “poor Nell” should not starve.
And, closer to the likely tenor of the lecture, Charles II was at the centre of patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great art.
The speaker is head of prints and drawing at the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, and he is here just two months before the Merry Monarch is the subject of a major exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. It is titled Art and Power.
Martin Clayton joined the Royal Library after graduating from Cambridge. Mr Clayton, an expert also on Michelangelo, is Harrogate-born. An early inspiration in art came during a school visit to The Hermitage in the then-Leningrad when he was fascinated by chisel marks on a sculpture.

Keeping fit
Darlington Keep Fit Association is celebrating its 55th year of movement to music with regular sessions.The first takes place every Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm. at St Thomas Aquinas Church Hall and is choreographed by Catherine Gilsenan and the second is held every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm at Sadberge Village Hall and is 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.

Railway heritage
The Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway were formed in 2013 to take forward ambitious plans to conserve and promote the 1825 line in the lead up to the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the opening of the railway in 2025.
While the development of the modern railway can be traced to a number of places, it was the S&DR where the engineering excellence of Stephenson and Hackworth came together with the economic foresight of Edward Pease and the business community of South West Durham and the Tees Valley to create the first modern railway. In the period 1825-30 the S&DR demonstrated that steam locomotive hauled railways were a viable proposition and ushered in the railway age which changed the face of the world.
The 1823 Act of Parliament allowing the line to be built was clear that this was a public railway which from its inception was to carry not just coal but passengers and goods on a permanent mainline with branches. Innovative technology, financing through shareholders linked to each other through family and faith and the inspiration and model it provided for others mark it out as the place where the modern railway age was born.
Recent survey work by the Friends of the S&DR has shown that much of the original line and its buildings still survives, some of it abandoned, some still in use as a railway. It does however need substantial conservation work and above all interpretation to tell its story to a local and international audience.
The Friends’ vision is to establish a walking and cycling rail trail using the route of the 1825 S&DR from Witton Park to Stockton on Tees. This would ensure that the physical remains of the S&DR are protected, recognised and conserved and also allow a key part of the nation’s heritage to be accessible and interpreted, bringing economic and health benefits to the region and beyond. As part of this the Friends are discussing with Historic England enhanced protection through listing and scheduling and exploring the case for World Heritage Site status to reflect the impact this ‘birthplace of the modern railway’, had on the world.
More information is available on the Friends website
Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7:10 pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email for information.

Darlington for Culture dfc for jazz festival

In the picture
We love to use pictures of events in our social media work and on our website so if you have taken any images at one of your events, please send the jpegs to us at

Raising funds
thuaf5j929 Do you ever 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. Many popular retailers are involved (including Amazon, Argos, eBay, Boots, Tesco, House of Fraser, Aviva, Lakeland,, and

Keeping in touch with the news
You can keep in touch with DfC at:
Website – (hosting is sponsored by Ephemeral Web Design. The site was designed by Resilient Business Systems)
Facebook – search for Darlington For Culture the official site
Twitter – @darloforculture
Darlington Arts Festival Twitter link @darloartsfest
Email –
Post – Darlington for Culture Ltd, c/o Heritage House, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF.

Heritage Healthcare Heritage Healthcare - Which Franchise
DfC’s induction events for volunteers are hosted in the Darlington town centre offices of Heritage Healthcare, 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.

What’s On
There is so much going on that our weekly newsletter is unable to carry everything so to allow you to get the bigger picture, you can check out our What’s On (click on What’s On at the left of this page) featuring everything from films and theatre to dance and music, art and exhibitions to literature and lectures. Also across the left is a link to courses and workshops.

Want to appear here?
Do you want your event mentioning on our website and social network sites? Then please do get in touch at

Thank you, as ever, for your support.

John Dean, DfC Media Officer, and the DfC team