The Hot House

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

Current appeals

orchestraDarlington Orchestra’s new rehearsal season started on Tuesday 6th September. Even if you haven’t played for years, it’s never too late to take up orchestral playing. Age range of players in Darlington Orchestra currently stretches from 14 to 80-plus.
The orchestra performs two concerts a year and always includes an eclectic range of music from the past few centuries – including film medleys, tunes from musicals, opera/ballet, and various classics by familiar and lesser-known composers. The orchestra does not have a set repertoire, so everyone will be sight-reading initially. Visit to see programmes from recent concerts.
• There are no auditions although playing standard of at least Grade-IV is preferred. It’s not necessary to have taken the grades but that level and being able to read music are required
• String players welcome, and some vacancies in wind and brass sections
• Rehearsals on Tuesdays from 7.15pm until 9pm during Darlington school term-times at St Thomas Aquinas church hall, North Road, Darlington DL1 3PU
• Subscription costs £45 per year; discounts for full-time students and concessions
• If you’re interested in joining, please call 01325 251383 or email
• Follow on Facebook/Darlington-Orchestra or Twitter @DarloOrchestra

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.