Following an extended period of closure due to the Covid pandemic, staff at Darlington Hippodrome are gearing up to re-open the doors in May.
It is hard to believe that it’s been over a year since Darlington Hippodrome released a major season brochure. Like everyone else the venue was looking at 2020 with a great sense of anticipation for what promised to be one of their strongest line-up of events for some time. That sense of anticipation was turned on its head with the announcement that all theatres in the country were to close.
Over the last twelve months Darlington Hippodrome has done a tremendous amount of work to keep the theatre viable through the pandemic and to ensure the venue’s future success. Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund have supported the Hippodrome with grants totalling almost £1.5 million allowing the theatre to navigate what has been one of the most difficult periods in the venue’s 114 year history.
But now the theatre has launched a brand new season brochure and the staff are working tirelessly towards a grand re-opening on Monday 17 May.
Along with a full schedule of classic cinema screenings, West-End screenings, theatre tours, fitness and dance sessions and heritage workshops, Darlington Hippodrome’s stage will once again host live theatre with a fabulous mix of block-buster musicals, stand-up comedy, tribute acts and household names.
The return of live theatre will be marked by a Come Back Home concert presented by Darlington Operatic Society who seem to be making a habit of re-opening the venue after periods of closure. This will be followed by a diverse programme including comedians Carl Hutchinson, Jason Manford and Chris Ramsey, family shows including the Horrible Histories team with Barmy Britain, In The Night Garden, Dragons and Mythical Beasts and Milkshake Live and one-night-only tributes to the music of The Temptations, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac, The Rat Pack, Queen and Tina Turner.
You can spend an evening with Sir Michael Parkinson or maybe you’ll choose Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Band? Jason Donovan will tread the boards and the theatre will also play host to Dick and Angel as they take a break from renovating their French Chateau.
Drama lovers will have plenty to choose from including Helen Forrester’s By The Waters of Liverpool, a solve-a-long-a Murder She Wrote and a new stage adaptation of the Gothic chiller The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Fans of musical theatre will not be disappointed. The smash-hit musical Rock of Ages will raise the roof whilst Craig Revel Horwood’s Strictly Ballroom will set the stage alight. And don’t forget the fabulous, festive, family pantomime which this year is the all-time favourite, Cinderella.
With more and more shows being booked on a daily basis the theatre is slowly returning to a sense of normality.
Heather Tarran-Jones, Programming and Development Director of Darlington Hippodrome said: “We are so excited to launch a new season brochure of this nature. We are all set to welcome audiences back to enjoy the thrill of live theatre or just to pop in to soak up the atmosphere. Naturally the health and wellbeing of our audiences will be uppermost in our plans, we have introduced special ticket scanners and a brand new app so people can order food and drinks from the comfort of their seats in the auditorium. I would encourage everyone to ‘come back home’ by purchasing tickets for the fabulous selection of shows we have on offer at Darlington Hippodrome.”
For full details of all the shows on offer or to book, visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01325 405405