What’s On

Welcome to our what’s on section, divided into sections for ease of use

For details of courses and workshops, including arts and crafts for all ages, dance classes and creative writing classes, please go to http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/courses/

The categories to be found below the Contents list are:

Darlington for Culture

General, including lectures



Events at the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts



Knitting Café




Wildlife, gardening and environmental groups


Railway heritage

Outside Darlington

Darlington for Culture

General, including lectures

Festival of Ingenuity

An extravaganza of everything ingenious about Darlington is taking place on September 22-23.
The two-day Festival of Ingenuity will feature interactive activities and exhibits to delight and amaze young minds, and is designed to be a fun way for children and young people to learn about engineering and technology. And best of all, it’s all free!
The festival, which is now in its second year, is organised by the One Darlington Partnership and sponsored by Darlington Building Society, with support from Darlington Borough Council, Smooth Radio and The Northern Echo.
It all starts on Friday (22 September), with a focus on schoolchildren. More than 400 pupils from primary and secondary schools across Darlington will be taking part in activities aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers by giving them hands-on experience with major employers.
Saturday is the day for family fun, with Darlington town centre set to be transformed into a hive of ingenious activity. Activities will be centred around three locations – the Market Place, Riverside Park and the raised Podium area at the Feethams Leisure complex.
Activities on Saturday include the exhibition marquee in the Market Place, which will be crammed with engaging activities for children and adults, provided by a variety of businesses. Think you’re handy with a Rubik’s cube? Take on the robot in a time trial, watch a 3D printer at work or try some virtual reality goggles for size. The marquee will also include an exhibition on 150 years of ingenuity in Darlington and the chance to have a go at controlling miniature subsea robots.
The Northern Echo’s Chris Lloyd will give a free talk in Central Hall from 11am, revealing some of the lesser known events and extraordinary characters who have helped shaped Darlington.
There will be family fun on the Feethams Podium, including street entertainers, dancers, face painting, a birds of prey display and a Punch and Judy show. The Podium will also be the start and finish point of the Ingenious Explorer Trail, aimed at young children and their families. Collect a map and follow the clues on a treasure hunt around the town centre. Everyone who completes the trail will win a free gift, as well as the chance to be entered in a free prize draw, with dozens of prizes up for grabs.
Festival-goers will be able to travel between the attractions on Darly, a land-based train. There will also be a chance to hop aboard a vintage bus and visit the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, where a new Gresley class steam locomotive, Prince of Wales, is being built from scratch. There will also be family entertainment at the nearby Head of Steam railway museum. The vintage bus will also be taking passengers to Tees Cottage Pumping Station, in Coniscliffe Road, where the Victorian-era equipment will be in full flow.
Seth Pearson, chairman of event organisers One Darlington Partnership, said: “A lot of effort and, indeed, ingenuity has gone into planning this year’s festival, which I know will be a huge success. I’d like to thank Darlington Building Society for sponsoring the festival, as well as all the other partners who have given their time and effort to prepare for this event. It promises to be a great day, with something for everyone, so I’d encourage as many people as possible to come and join us!”
Colin Fyfe, chief executive of Darlington Building Society, said: “We’re excited to be sponsoring this year’s second annual Festival of Ingenuity, which promises to be a memorable celebration of everything that’s great about Darlington. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. It’s supported by some of the town’s brightest engineering and technology talent, celebrating Darlington’s successes both past and present, while encouraging the next generation.”
For more information, follow @IngenuityFestDT on Twitter or search for the Festival of Ingenuity on Facebook

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 http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/family-arts-day/

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 www.darlingtonhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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
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. There are also lots of opportunities to attend other discussions/seminars/meetings both locally and nationally during the year to keep up to date with what’s happening. Want to know more then check out the NCW website www.ncwgb.org 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 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 www.dlecture@live.co.uk

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 fregular 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.

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 Piano Society announces new season
Darlington Piano Society’s concerts in recent seasons have been extremely successful, with their blend of new faces, returning artists and established favourites highlighting the incredible range of outstanding pianists both here in the UK and overseas. The Society has been able to extend this season to seven recitals but keep membership subscription at the same level as last year.
Chairman Greg Johnson said: “There can be no better value for money package anywhere for those seeking classical music at the highest level of performance or a more appropriate time to spread the word amongst friends and colleagues and encourage them to join the Society as members or occasional concert-goers.”
The season opens on 8th October with a recital by Martin Roscoe, pictured, one of the UK’s best loved pianists with a career spanning four decades, but playing for the first time for Darlington Piano Society. Subsequent recitals in 2017 include performances by Charles Owen on 22nd October (co-founder of the London Piano Festival and Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School), Anna Tsybuleva on 12th November (Leeds International Piano Competition 2015) and Grace Yeo (making her second appearance for the Society on 10th December). The New Year begins with a recital by Dinara Klinton on 28th January (third prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition in USA in 2016), followed by Martin James Bartlett on 25th February (BBC Young Musician of the Year, 2014). Martin’s recital brings a milestone in the Society’s history, being the 100th performer in its 22nd season. The season ends with a return visit to Darlington by Clare Hammond (25th March) and it is Clare (who plays the young Miss Shepherd in the film “The Lady in the Van”) who brings an as yet untitled new work, a piece by the young English composer, Ed Finnis.

Martin Roscoe concert details
Darlington Piano Society opens its 22nd season with a recital by Martin Roscoe, one of the UK’s best loved pianists. His extraordinary career spans over four decades; his enduring popularity and the respect in which he is universally held are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship allied to an easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike. His CV includes a repertoire of over 100 concertos performed or recorded, long-standing chamber music partnerships, frequent broadcasts and solo recitals and recordings.
Teaching has always been an important part of Martin’s life and the development of young talent helps him to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate his own playing. He is currently a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London and has just been awarded his Fellowship there.
Martin lives in the Lake District which provides inspiration and relaxation and also enables him to indulge his passions for the countryside and hill-walking.
Beethoven Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op 10, No 1
Schubert Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, No. 21, D. 960
Chopin Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op.23
Chopin Nocturne in Db major Op.27, No.2
Chopin 3 Waltzes, Op.64
Chopin Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53

Full details of the Society’s season can be found at the revamped website – www.dpiano.co.uk and in its brochure, widely available throughout the area, as well as timely reminders via the websites of “What’s on in Darlington” and Darlington for Culture.
The recitals take place in Central Hall, The Dolphin Centre, Darlington on the Sunday afternoons listed above, all beginning at 3.00pm.
Season tickets can be purchased through the booking form in the brochure or through the website. Individual recital tickets are available from Reception at the Dolphin Centre well in advance of each recital and are always available on the door on the day of the recitals

Darlington Music Society will stage six concerts of classical music during the 2017 / 2018 season as they have in previous years.
The first concert of this season will be on Saturday 7th October at 7.30 p.m.at the Dolphin Centre. This will be given by The Pomegranate Piano Trio, playing pieces by Beethoven, Haydn & Smetana.
Tickets are £14.00 per concert or £52.50 for a season ticket. Tickets can be obtained from the Dolphin Centre or season tickets from Mr. R. Tooze, 66 Headlands, Darlington. DL3 8RZ. Tel: 01325 467163
The other concerts during the year are:
Jenkinson Frith Duo (Piano & Cello) on Saturday 4th November, playing Brahms, Schumann, Liszt & Kodaly.
Luba Tunnicliffe (Viola) & Edward Liddall (Piano) on Sat 20th Jan, playing Brahms, Schubert, Bach & Konzertstuck.
Prince Bishop Brass – an ensemble of brass instruments on Sat 17th February, playing a wide programme by Mozart, Bach & Gershwin & many others.
Matthew Scott (Clarinet) & Cristine Zerafa (Piano) on Saturday 17th March, playing Debussy, Brahms & others.
Marmen Quartet on Saturday 21st April, playing Mozart, Beethoven & Janacek.

Darlington Music Society will stage six concerts of classical music during the 2017 / 2018 season as they have in previous years.
The first concert of this season will be on Saturday 7th October at 7.30 p.m.at the Dolphin Centre. This will be given by The Pomegranate Piano Trio, playing pieces by Beethoven, Haydn & Smetana.
Tickets are £14.00 per concert or £52.50 for a season ticket. Tickets can be obtained from the Dolphin Centre or season tickets from Mr. R. Tooze, 66 Headlands, Darlington. DL3 8RZ. Tel: 01325 467163
The other concerts during the year are:
Jenkinson Frith Duo (Piano & Cello) on Saturday 4th November, playing Brahms, Schumann, Liszt & Kodaly.
Luba Tunnicliffe (Viola) & Edward Liddall (Piano) on Sat 20th Jan, playing Brahms, Schubert, Bach & Konzertstuck.
Prince Bishop Brass – an ensemble of brass instruments on Sat 17th February, playing a wide programme by Mozart, Bach & Gershwin & many others.
Matthew Scott (Clarinet) & Cristine Zerafa (Piano) on Saturday 17th March, playing Debussy, Brahms & others.
Marmen Quartet on Saturday 21st April, playing Mozart, Beethoven & Janacek.

Big band, big sound – great jazz with a swish
Darlington Jazz lovers will be dancing in and out of their seats when the ever-popular New Century Ragtime Orchestra swings back to town on Saturday 7 October.
The New Century Ragtime Orchestra will be bringing their inimitable sound and that big band swish to Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club’s lunchtime gig at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington. There’ll be ragtime, hot dance tunes, entertaining vocals, banter, swinging group performances and some virtuoso solos from this sought-after Tyneside-based band that’s grown in status over the years and expanded its repertoire to include many wonderful standards from the 1920s and 30s. It’ll be a packed house as well as a big band, so make sure you arrive early to secure a seat.
Entry to the gig is just £10 on the door, and children 15 and under go free. Darlington for Culture members are eligible for discounted entry on production of their membership card. There’s a licensed bar; tea and coffee is available; and everyone is very welcome to bring their own food along for a picnic whilst the band is entertaining.
There’s the added benefit of plenty of free onsite car parking. It’s also just a short walk from the bus stops on Tubwell Row and Darlington railway station. For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk or contact Ray Sams ray@darlingtonjazz.co.uk 07860 368022 Graham Foster graham@darlingtonjazz.co.uk
Coming up next:
You’d better get ready to boogie – the Red Stripe Band is coming back to the Club on Saturday 4 November. Red Stripe and his band have been stomping their boogie-woogie rhythms now for over 20 years and have played all over the world from Monte Carlo to Tokyo and New York to Milan. The band has a great time wherever it goes – infectious energy filling the venue with on and off stage antics, plus world class live music of course.
Saturday 2 December sees the Club hosting the Maine Street Jazzmen. They’ll be playing entertaining Dixieland jazz, drawing their influences not only from the classic American jazz groups of the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, but also the British bands of the 1950’s & 60’s .
All sessions are at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington and start at 12.30, doors open from noon.

There is a chance to enjoy some terrific disco-based music in Darlington – Double Entendre – DJ Soul, Funk, Acid Jazz, held on the 4th Friday of the month at Voodoo Café, Skinnergate 8.30pm until late.

It’s all happening at The Forum
The Forum in Borough Road has got a terrific programme. For the full list of gigs and events, please visit www.theforumonline.co.uk 

September Events @ The Forum

Friday 22nd – Gasto Promotions Presents:
The Smokin’ Spitfires
Tickets £10 / Doors 7-30pm

September 29th – Bri Alderson’s Punk & Oi! Charity Bash Part 4
Charity Punk Fest for Macmillan Cancer Research
Tickets £15/Doors 12.p.m til late

Friday 29th – Complete Madness
Tickets £12 / Doors 8pm
16+ ( Under18’s must be accompanied by an adult )

Saturday 30th – Northern Soul Oldies Night
Entrance £3.50 /Doors 7pm to 11.30pm


Wednesday 4th – Open Mic Night
Free Entrance / Doors 7pm

Friday 6th – Vertigo U2
Playing the Joshua Tree in it’s entirety
Tickets £8 / Doors 8pm

Friday 13th – Darlington R’n’B Club Present:
Big Boy Bloater & The Limits
Tickets £12 / Doors 7-30pm

Thursday 18th – The John P Taylor Band
North Yorkshire based, award-winning singer/songwriter John P Taylor
Tickets £8 / Doors 8pm

Friday 20th – Gasto Promotions Presents:
The Credence Collection + Support Kevin Fox
Tickets £10 / Doors 7-30pm

Saturday 20th – The Stones
Tickets £12 / Doors 8pm

Friday 27th – The Clashed
Tickets £8adv/£9otd / Doors 8pm

Darlington Folk Club meets every Thursday evening at the Copper Beech in Neasham Rd at 8pm. Darlington Folk Club
Autumn programme
Thurs Sept 21st Anthony John Clarke
Thurs Sept 28th Open Mic
Thurs Oct 5th Double bill – The Raffleites and tbc
Thurs Oct 12th SMP
Thurs Oct 19th Boo Hewerdine
Thurs Oct 26th SMP
Thurs Nov 2nd Double bill – Bella Gaffney and tbc
Thurs Nov 9th SMP – Songs of War, Conflict and Remembrance.
Thurs Nov 16th Kieran Halpin
Thurs Nov 23rd Open Mic
Thurs Nov 30th Benny Graham & Chuck Fleming
Thurs Dec 7th SMP
Thurs Dec 14th Flossie Malavialle & Paul Donnelly
Thurs Dec 21st Club Christmas Meal
Thurs Dec 28th Club Closed

Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Club
Check out their programme at the Forum at www.darlington-r-n-b-club.co.uk

The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts
Can be found 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 Bridge houses a variety of local groups and is available for private hire. Information on programmes can be found on www.thebridgedarlington.org.uk and Facebook page (link from main web page)


Art, crafts, exhibitions

Darlington shown after dark in photographic exhibition
A retired police scenes of crime officer has put the focus on Darlington in his latest venture photographing the town after dark.
The results will feature in a special exhibition “As the sun sets in Darlington” which opens at the Town Hall on August 29 and will run until ‘Friday 20 October.
.Campbell Sheppard’s love affair with photography began as an 11-year-old boy in the late 1960s, when he began taking, developing and printing, black and white photographs.
It led him into a career following various aspects of photography, first capturing the special moments as a wedding photographer and then as a civilian scenes of crime officer for Northumbria Police where he worked for 28 years.
“I was often called to take photographs of crime scenes at night and with limited available daylight, using a tripod and long exposures,” said Campbell, who moved to Darlington when he retired.
“I always got a great deal of satisfaction when the images were produced as the conditions were often very challenging.
“Now that I’m retired, I have the time to take photographs under similar lighting conditions, but of subject areas of my choosing. This is the theme I decided to explore with my exhibition.
“I chose the urban, night-time environment of Darlington as I wanted to illustrate the rich, abstract colours and hues that come to life when the sun goes down.
“Using long shutter speeds and lenses with different focal lengths, I have tried to create a series of atmospheric images of Darlington with as little post production processing as possible.”

A selection of art work from Darlington’s Community Art Project will be on display at Darlington Building Society’s Tubwell Row branch from Friday 28th July until Friday 29th September. The venue is open 9am – 5pm weekdays and 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays. For further information contact Laurence.ward@darlington.gov.uk

Knitting Café
knittting image
The Knitting Cafe holds its Monday night sessions at Lingfield Point, off McMullen Road, taking the craft of knitting home to the site. The Café meets at Lingfield House on the site which was home to Patons and Baldwins, at one time a leading manufacturer of knitting yarn in Darlington. The Monday evening sessions are designed to introduce people to knitting, and also for experienced exponents of the pastime, and take place between 7-9pm. Sessions cost £3. For more information, contact Becky on 07550002773


Your chance to try Morris Dancing
Fancy trying something new? Why not consider Morris Dancing?

a title=”swing” href=”http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/swing.png”>swingTransport yourself back to the swinging world of the 1940s and learn the dance sensations that took the era by storm. 6th Street Swing are a group of local swing dancers keen to encourage more people to take up this fun and sociable partnered dance style. We run informal beginners classes weekly as well as evening socials every few months. No partner is required.
When Tuesdays 7.30 – 8.30 followed by social dancing
Where Upstairs Voodoo Cafe, Skinnergate
Cost £3 first class free
Contact Angeline a.unique.rose@gmail.com

The seventh season of Open Mic nights for authors will start on Thursday September 28 after the summer break.
Supported by Darlington for Culture, the nights offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it and 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.
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 deangriss@btinternet.com
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.


A chance to shine
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 nicola.craggs@darlington.gov.uk. 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 Green Theatre are performing The Comedy of Errors at Crown Street Library at the end of September.

If this poster does not open, click http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/a-comedy-of-errors/

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:

https://www.facebook.com/oddmanouttheatre Darlington Hippodrome

Darlington Hippodrome has unveiled a packed spectacular opening season following a multi-million pound restoration.
Following 18 months of expectation the opening season of the newly restored Darlington Hippodrome has been revealed.
As a curtain-raiser and emotional homecoming we welcome DarlingtonOS with Strictly Musicals 2 – a song and dance extravaganza featuring some of the best-loved musicals of all time including Mamma Mia, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Jersey Boys and many, many more. Be one of the first to see inside the new venue from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 November.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a pantomime, and this year we have the fairest of them all – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Starring boy band and soap star Lee Ryan alongside Darlington’s own West End leading lady Zoe Birkett this year’s pantomime will be packed full of comedy, songs, dance numbers and the usual Darlington pantomime magic between Saturday 9 December and Sunday 14 January.
On Monday 1 January, we usher in the New Year in style with New Year in Vienna 2018 which will whisk you away to a fairy-tale world as a host of singers showcase the very best of popular Viennese music, from waltzes and polkas to uplifting marches.
Just because it’s January it doesn’t mean it’s too late for a party! The music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is as popular today as it was back in the 60s and 70s. New Jersey Nights is a spectacular show direct from the USA and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all time from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 January.
From Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February celebrate the re-opening of Darlington Hippodrome with a specially created show, Anywhere, performed by the theatre’s own acting company. Step through the doors of the theatre and go behind the scenes to explore the amazing stories that lie within the theatre.
A spectacular new musical is heading to Darlington from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 February. Son of a Preacher Man is an all-new production directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood who won critical acclaim for his productions of Sister Act, Chess and Sunset Boulevard. This sparklingly funny and touching new musical features the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield including ‘The Look of Love’, ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and of course, the classic ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’.
If you are a fan of Andy Williams or The Osmonds then we have a real treat on Monday 12 February as Jimmy Osmond presents his own tribute to Andy Williams in Moon River and Me. Featuring award-winning music, nostalgic footage and special memories, this brand new show will touch your heart.
Just in time for Valentines, That’ll Be The Day returns with a brand new show for 2018 for two nights only on Tuesday 13 & Wednesday 14 February. This hugely entertaining line-up of classic gold hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s provides both laughs and nostalgia.
We are delighted to welcome The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia back to Darlington with three great ballet masterpieces: Romeo & Juliet (Thursday 15 Feb), the tragic Swan Lake (Friday 16 and Saturday 17 Feb) and family favourite The Nutcracker (Sunday 18 Feb).
Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi award winning Blood Brothers (Tuesday 20 – Saturday 4 February). Written by Willy Russell, this legendary story tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks only to meet again with fateful consequences. The superb score includes ‘Bright New Day’, ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and the emotionally charged ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.
Having first appeared in Darlington back in the 1960s we welcome back the world class orchestra The Hallé on Monday 26 February.
March strides in with the stage adaptation of Awful Auntie – another classic from David Walliams. When Stella visits London she has no idea her life is in real danger. Waking up three months later only Aunt Alberta can tell her what has happened. Awful Auntie runs from Tuesday 27 February to Saturday 3 March.
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society is back with their multi award-winning production The Play That Goes Wrong from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 March. Hailed a ‘gut-busting hit’ by the New York Times, Mischief Theatre’s sell-out West End comedy is now taking Broadway by storm. Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that’s guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter.
Following recent productions of To Sir, With Love, Brassed Off, A View From The Bridge, Brave New World and Of Mice and Men, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company presents Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 March. Phil Daniels (Les Miserables, This House, EastEnders) stars in the title role in a story of human nature, love and the power of pure evil.
On Monday 19 March the world’s official number one Eagles tribute Illegal Eagles returns for another outstanding show promising more of their trademark musical prowess, acute attention to detail and incredible showmanship followed on Tuesday 20 March by a night of comedy with Stewart Lee with his stand-up show Content Provider, his first full-length show since the award-winning Carpet Remnant World.
Ellen Kent returns with Madama Butterfly on Wednesday 21 March and the smash-hit 70s band Smokie will raise the roof on Thursday 22 March. For the younger theatre fans Peppa Pig has a wonderful adventure on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 March. The opening season draws to a close as Middleground Theatre Company bring the Ruth Rendell classic Gallowglass to the stage from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 March.
Tickets for the Darlington Hippodrome opening season are on sale now; brochures are available from our Cornmill box office and in venues across the region.
For further information and to book contact the box office on 01325 405405, or visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk to choose your own seats online.

Events at the Majestic Theatre

Swashbuckling fun
Ahoy there shipmates why not climb aboard the good ship Naughty Nellie and join family favourites Double Trouble in a brand new swashbuckling spooktacular adventure this Halloween?
Double Trouble and the Curse of the Haunted Pirate Ship will be presented by the same team that brought Sleeping Beauty to The Majestic theatre during the February half term and this time they promise even more spectacular scenery, stunning costumes and laugh out loud comedy for all the family’.
All tickets are just £8.50 if booked before 1st October. All tickets £10.00 afterwards.
Book online at www.majestic-tickets.co.uk or call in at the box office.

The Hullabaloo, the National Centre of Theatre for Young Audiences, has seen Theatre Hullabaloo enter into a new partnership with Darlington Borough Council to offer a purpose-designed theatre space, creative play, family café and a broad range of creative opportunities for children from 0 – 12 years and their families.
The Hullabaloo will open on Monday 11th December with Theatre Hullabaloo’s celebrated Christmas show for 4-7 year olds, Bear & Butterfly, pictured here, and tickets are now on sale at www.theatrehullabaloo.org.uk or via the box office on 01325 405 405 for performances up to and including New Year’s Eve.

Gardening and environmental groups
juniper 001

Darlington Amateur Gardening Club,
The next meeting is on Wednesday 15th March. Speaker Mick McQuade will talk about Using Your Greenhouse. 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.

Group meets
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington meet 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.

History walks

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 http://www.sdr1825.co.uk/
Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found. https://www.facebook.com/groups/304912612980375/. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7:10 pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email info@sdr1825.co.uk for information.

Outside Darlington