The Hot House

The Hot House puts creative people in touch with each other to make things happen!

Current appeals

Morris dance team seeks members
The Cotswold Morris Team\Black Diamond Mixed Cotswold Morris is seeking new members.
Named after one of the first steam locomotives to operate on the Darlington and Stockton Railway \Black Diamond, this new Cotswold Morris team is based in Darlington.
Dancing traditional dances from the Cotswold villages, this team comprises of both women and men.
They practise in the upstairs room of the Voodoo Cafe Bar on Skinnergate in Darlington from 7.30 pm until about 9.30
They welcome any dancers and musicians who would like to join them and if you’re not a dancer or musician then you are still more than welcome to come and join and learn these traditional dances.

Darlington Orchestra’s rehearsal season started on 12th September
The first rehearsal for the 2017/18 season is on Tuesday 12th September. The orchestra does not have a set repertoire so everyone will be sight-reading initially. If you’ve been considering starting or re-starting orchestral playing, now is a great time to join.
There are no auditions although a playing standard of at least Grade-IV for most instruments is recommended; higher grades for some sections. It’s not necessary to have taken grades but that level of playing and ability to read music are required.
Darlington Orchestra is a community group with players from all walks of life and the overall age range currently stretches from 14 years to 80-plus.
• Rehearsals are on Tuesday from 7.15pm until 9pm during Darlington school term-times at St Thomas Aquinas church hall, Darlington DL1 2PU
• Costs £45 per year – discounts for full-time students and concessions
• If you’re interested in joining, please email

About the Hot House
Darlington for Culture | The Hot House
During 2011, a chance encounter in the bar at Darlington Arts Centre led to a stage premiere. It got us thinking; how many other collaborations are waiting to happen? How many theatre groups need writers? How many filmmakers need lighting experts? How many singers need musicians? How many visual artists need … you get the idea.
That’s what our Hot House is all about, a chance to plant ideas, seek help to make them happen and see what grows.
The chance encounter which sparked the idea was between members of The Darlington Green Theatre company and Darlington-based Inkerman Writers. Darlington Green Theatre asked the writers to produce three one-act plays. The result was Branching Out, written by Inkerman writers Bud Craig, Sandra Spears and Pat Stewart and performed over two nights by the theatre company (the picture below shows the three writers with the cast. The event was brokered by Darlington for Culture, which was at that time running events at the Arts Centre.
Branching Out
Since the Centre closed, opportunities for such chance meetings have been reduced hence the idea behind the Hot House, a chance to bring artists of all types together.
Take two examples from one of the recent Darlington Arts Festivals. In the run-up to the Festival, DfC was approached by textile artist Helen Winthorpe Kendrick, seeking a venue for an exhibition of her work. We suggested St Cuthbert’s and our volunteers stewarded the event. We also helped artists Yvonne Preston, Paul Dillon, Rosi Thornton and Anna Cole stage a Meet the Artists day at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel. These are just two examples of many.
So how do you get involved in The Hot House? All you have to do is email your idea/project details, requirements and contact information to and we’ll drop it into this page and see if and see if anyone responds.
Whether money changes hands between those involved or it’s done on a voluntary basis is up to you. All we ask is that you let us know if anything comes of it so we can let folks know. Maybe we can support it, perhaps helping to find venues, initiating conversations or doing some promotional work.