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 Darlington Lecture Association:

New season of talks opens on 3 September with Iceland: The Land of Geysers and Gyrs.

Another highlight of the series is An exploration of Windsor Castle’s treasures; visitors can hear about how the Queen entertains her guests with an after-dinner tour of the royal library. Oliver Everett, who in his 17 years as librarian at Windsor wrote the castle’s guide book, will give an illustrated talk on 8 October. As well as showing the great art and historical documents, the Queen enjoys recounting stories behind off-beat exhibits like the Lutyens dolls’ house and the shirt Charles I wore at his execution.

  • Membership is £25; visitor entrance is £5
  • Lectures take place from September to April, usually second Monday of each month 7.30pm
  • At Carmel RC College, The Headlands, Darlington DL3 8RP
  • For more information, visit the website, call 01325 363350 or email: dlecture@live.co.uk

‘My Mountain Life: an illustrated presentation by Simon Yates’ on Thursday 20th September 7.30pm, tickets £10, at the Neasham Reading Room.

On the remote Siula Grande in Peru in 1985, mountaineer Simon Yates found himself in a desperate position. He was slowly being pulled off the mountain by his injured partner, Joe Simpson, dangling on the rope 50m below. His decision to cut the rope saved both their lives in the epic survival that followed. With the publication of the book ‘Touching the Void’ and the later film, both men became household names.

Learn more about Simon’s tireless journey from that Peru mountain to some of the planet’s remotest and share the drama, excitement and beauty of modern lightweight alpinism. Told with wit, dry humour and lavishly illustrated with images and video collected on his great climbs.

  • Doors open 7pm, presentation starts 7.30pm, until about 10pm.
  • To reserve tickets, visit the NRR website.

Darlington Historical Society:

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


Darlington Hippodrome

balletLORENT‘s award-winning team who brought you Rapunzel and Snow White is back with an original adaptation of this beloved tale Rumpelstiltskin, directed by Liv Lorent and retold by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

A story of love, obsession, grief and reconciliation in a show made as much for adults as it is for children. Full of action and humour this emotionally rich fairytale is set in a rural world of sheep, straw, wool and spinning where the alchemist, Rumpelstiltskin is outcast until he is revealed to be “the true prince that he was”.

balletLORENT has been working with local primary schools, residential care homes, day centres and elderly community groups to find an intergenerational community cast of eight children aged 4-9 years and four people aged 65+ who will feature in the production.

  • Saturday 1st September 7.30pm and Sunday 2nd September 2.30pm
  • To book, visit the Hippodrome website or call the box office on 01325 405405

The Hippodrome will not have any shows on during August, but the theatre will be opening its doors and hosting a range of activities including live music, theatre tours, craft and drama workshops, opportunities to view archive materials and an exciting ‘Family Trail’.

More information about activities in August here.

  • 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.


Darlington Academy of Performing Arts

Does your child enjoy acting, singing and dancing?

DAPA launched in August and regular classes start in September, all to be held at Hummersknott Academy.

For more information, visit the website.


Jabberwocky Market: pop-up theatre

The next Jabberwocky Market pop-up theatre events take place from Wednesday 3rd to Sunday 7th October.

There will be shows for young and old. If you love theatre or haven’t ever really been before, there’s something for you, and this time events are in Darlington and beyond. Venues include Darlington Covered Market, Greenfield Community College in Shildon and Liddiard Theatre, Polam.

For a list of shows, click here.


Green Theatre

Much Ado About Caesar is Green Theatre‘s next production and can be seen at The Hullabaloo, Borough Road (adjacent to The Hippodrome) on 11th, 12th and 13th October at 7.30pm.

It is also being staged at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, on 19th and 20th October at 7.30pm.

These abridged versions of Julius Caesar and Much Ado About Nothing retain much of the essential storylines of two of Shakespeare’s great plays and make for an enjoyable evening of 45 minutes performance each play.

  • £8 (£6 concession)
  • Tickets from Darlington Hippodrome box offices
  • Call 01325 405405


Voodoo Café 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.

Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club

First Saturday of the month  (except January) – lunchtime event at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington 12.30pm. Entry is £10 on the door, and children 15 and under go free.

There’s a licensed bar and tea and coffee is available; and everyone is very welcome to bring their own food along for a picnic. 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.

  • Darlington for Culture members are eligible for discounted entry on production of their membership card.
  • For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk

August Events at The Forum

For the full list of gigs and events, please visit www.theforumonline.co.uk
Tel:  01325 363135 

Saturday 18th
Alice Coopers Nightmare presents ‘Schools Out’
Paying homage to Alice Cooper
Tickets £10, doors from 7.30pm

September at The Forum

Friday 7th – 60s Mod Night featuring The Pre-Amps
+ DJ KingBoy D playing music in the bar
Tickets/Entrance £6

Saturday 8th – Hilarity Bites Comedy Club
Tickets £10 – Doors 7.30pm

Friday 14th – RnB Club
The Malone Sibun Band
Tickets £12 – Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 15th – Endorphin Machine
Fantastic tribute to the late, great, Prince
Advance tickets advised
Tickets £12.50 – Doors 7.30pm 

Friday 21st – Piano Man
A Tribute to the music of Billy Joel with full band
Tickets £10 advance/£11on the door

Saturday 22nd – Punk Fest
Punk Fest in aid of Macmillan Cancer
Punk bands from all over the country performing
Tickets £15 – noon to 11pm

Friday 28th – Gasto Promotions Presents
Clockwork Angels – A Tribute To Rush + Support from Obsession (UFO)
Tickets £10 – Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 29th – Northern Soul Oldies Night
4 DJs spinning quality Northern Soul vinyl
Entrance £3.50. Doors 7pm until midnight

Darlington Folk Club meets every Thursday at the Copper Beech in Neasham Road, 8pm start.

Darlington Folk Club

More details available on the website www.darlingtonfolkclub.com

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

Darlington Music Society stages six concerts of classical music each year. Tickets are £14 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.


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

For details of events, visit the Hilarity Bites website.


Gilkes Street Artists – Commonplace

Exhibition of work by members of Gilkes Street Artists, a Middlesbrough-based studio group, at Darlington’s purpose-built exhibition space at Crown Street Gallery from Saturday 7 July to Monday 27 August.

In Commonplace, the artists investigate their personal ideas of the everyday experience through painting, printmaking, mixed media and tapestry weaving.

For more information, visit Darlington Borough Council’s website.


Rejig’s new season of Skills Courses started on Saturday 26th May 9.30am-2.30pm. The first one was fun with batik.

‘Wax and Colour: Modern Batik’ is a three-hour workshop introducing participants to the ancient art of batik, with a modern twist. A mixture of demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on practical time, the session will teach new techniques and help you gain the confidence to use them in creative ways. By the end of the morning, you will have completed a self-contained project and will leave with a finished piece.

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

Visit the website www.luckyfisharts.co.uk/courses

LFLD exhibition at The Pennyweight

‘Lust For Life Drawing’ is turning The Pennyweight into ‘The Penny-Tate’ when the pub hosts an art exhibition.

Launching on 16th August at the venue in Darlington Market Square, and open to the public from Friday, the month-long event is a collection of drawings by attendees of Lust For Life Drawing sessions. The artists, from total beginners to professionals, have submitted works completed at or inspired by the life-drawing sessions.

Lust For Life Drawing will also host a bonus ‘Drink + Draw’ event in The Pennyweight on Saturday 18th August between 2pm and 4pm. The regular monthly Lust For Life Drawing session will take place in The Pennyweight on Thursday 6th September from 7pm to 9pm.

  • Visit the exhibition for free until 13th September

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

A variety of courses take place at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts. The centre is on Yarm Road in Darlington, on the corner of Hundens Lane, and the entrance is on Hundens Lane. Wesite http://thebridgedarlington.org.uk/

Meet, Make, Mend: provides drop-in sewing sessions throughout the week covering all sorts of skills, from quilting, to clothes making, and beyond. For more information visit the website www.luckyfisharts.co.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


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 7.30pm until about 9.30pm.

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.

6th Street Swing

Transport 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.

Tuesdays 7.30 – 8.30 followed by social dancing at Voodoo Cafe, Skinnergate

Cost: £3 – first class free

Contact: Angeline a.unique.rose@gmail.com

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.


Open Mic nights for authors

The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture, offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, in 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 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. A share of the proceeds is 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.


Darlington Amateur Gardening Club: meets 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.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington: meets in the Upstairs Restaurant, Dolphin Centre, Darlington, at 6.30pm. 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.


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 www.sdr1825.co.uk/  Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found www.facebook.com/groups/304912612980375/. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7.10pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email info@sdr1825.co.uk for information.


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, call  01325 367375 or search for National Council of Women Great Britain on Facebook.

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.