Saturday 29 February 2020, 10am – 4pm, Wool Fair in Darlington Town Centre

Darlington Market is partnering with local artist Becky Sunter from the Weaving Rooms to facilitate a new Wool Fair in the North East. Darlington wool expert Becky has been running the Weaving Rooms in town since 2017 and has been spinning her magic for over 20 years. Specialising in weaving, dying and spinning techniques to celebrate wool she creates wearable pieces and exhibits her work at events nationwide.

The market is organising Darlington’s first Wool Fair with Becky to showcase these traditional skills to new audiences. There will be drop-in activities to learn and have a go at felting, spinning, weaving and many other wool crafts. Darlington for Culture have supported the event with a small grant £500 to enable the fair to host artist workshop and activity, this offers people an opportunity to learn and find out about how to be creative with wool.

Weaving, spinning and knitting are all crafts that offer opportunities to work with small groups or individually, a great community of knitters to meet.

Becky Sunter said “It is fantastic that Darlington Market have helped organise this new wool event. To have the ability to show people of Darlington what I create and share my passion of these traditional skills alongside other like-minded artists and experts is inspiring.”

These crafts can reduce stress levels through immersive engagement with projects, interaction as part of small groups who can work whilst chatting to others – sharing knowledge, talking to each other and building friendships. It has been noted that knitting and crocheting can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Unlike meditation, craft activities result in tangible and often useful products that can boost self-esteem.

The fair has attracted high-end and renowned traders from across the country to the new event, with lots of exciting skills, equipment, materials and artworks/pieces on offer. Visitors will be welcomed to the free fair and will have the chance to meet local artists and find out more about the benefits of this natural fibre.

Event Manager, Alex Nicholson explains “Darlington Market aims to bring new and exciting events and markets to the town centre, we are looking to offer visitors new experiences whilst supporting locally based creatives. These events also support our independent traders, by opening the market hall to new visitors that may not have been into the market hall for a while. A market is a great platform for people to start small and develop into thriving businesses.”

Wool Fair in Darlington Town Centre

Saturday 29th February 2020 10am -4pm

If you would be interested in being part of the event, email Alex at:

New In Town update

Late last year we promoted the New In Town call out, which attracted fourteen fantastic proposals from different parties, artists, producers, creative enterprises and organisations. Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal, the standard was very high, and sadly we couldn’t support them all.

I met with colleagues from Darlington Borough Council and we agreed to offer support to four proposals, subject to their securing additional budget from other sources. New In Town aims to support the development of original activity and the development of creative organisations and programmes which will be shared in Darlington Town Centre.

We have offered to support four proposals in total, and look forward to working with:

  • Bordello Theatre
  • Cabinet of Curiosity Studio
  • Making it Happen

We’ve allocated support to those above who requested it so they can develop their proposals and we expect to share news of their success in securing additional funds from other parties to help them take their proposals forward shortly. Some New In Town programme will be shared in 2020/21 and some in 2021/22.

The New In Town call out has started conversations with people with whom we haven’t engaged previously, and we expect further creative projects will be developed in the Town Centre, with support from Creative Darlington, in the coming years…… and lots of creative things are happening across Darlington which haven’t required or requested any Creative Darlington budget.

Brilliant banner’s back on the rails

Some time ago Creative Darlington selected five artist’s work to display to brighten the day of those visiting or passing alongside Darlington Library through a Crown Street Call Out.

On my way into work earlier this year I noticed one of banners we created as a result, using Stuart Langley’s brilliant image, Neon and Glass, 2018, had gone AWOL. There was no evidence of malicious damage and no cable ties lying around, a mystery.

We hope these images have added colour and creativity to peoples pavement promenades and have consequently replaced the banner.

We plan to promote another Crown Street Call out shortly, and aim to share the work of fantastic artists with people out and about in Darlington.

‘Rose and Robin’ returns to Darlington Library on Saturday 15th February 2020

Last year Mad Alice Theatre Company performed ‘Rose and Robin’, a fantastic 50 minute theatre performance for all ages, in the gallery at Darlington Library to great applause. The show was so well received we’re welcoming it back, with a spring performance at Darlington Library on Saturday 15th February 2020 beginning 2pm at Darlington Library, with tickets priced £1.50. 

Further information and tickets are available at .   

‘Rose and Robin’ is accessible across a wide age range but targeted for ages 7 years to 70 years and runs for approximately 50 minutes.  Tickets for the November 2019 performance at Darlington Library sold fast so early booking is recommended!  Creative Darlington has supported a number of dance, music and theatre performances in the gallery at Darlington Library, and we’re delighted that Mad Alice Theatre Company are returning to Darlington with ‘Rose and Robin’ this February.

Hark! Words and music made magic in Darlington Library

Creative Darlington has supported many fantastic groups and artists in breaking down barriers between different art forms and exploring connections and commonalities between literature, poetry and live music, literature, the library function and visual arts.  

Creative Darlington backed Tracks in bringing their first Hark! event to Darlington Library in November 2019, and  I was delighted to see so many people enraptured in a fantastically original, refreshing, enjoyable, dynamic and captivating evening’ and finish with something like – ‘We understand Tracks are working on delivering many more fantastic programmes in 2020, and we look forward to hearing more in the coming year

Find out more about the programme here

Volunteer with Theatre Hullabaloo

Volunteer with Theatre Hullabaloo

Theatre Hullabaloo is looking for a small pool of volunteers to support our programme at The Hullabaloo across the year.

As a volunteer you will be working alongside families that visit The Hullabaloo, enhancing their experience while they are with us by supporting them in activities and giving a friendly welcome as they arrive. This has a great impact on audiences and is a great support for our organisation as without volunteer support, we often wouldn’t be able to run activities in the building.

If you have an interest in culture and working with families and small children then this could be for you.

Deadline: 12pm noon on Thursday 9 January 2020

To Apply: Please read the information pack below and then click here to complete the application form 

For more information click on the link: 

Rose and Robin, a show for young and old returns to Darlington Library on Saturday 15 February 2020

Rose and Robin, Mad Alice Theatre Company
Photographer – Jamie Sproates

MAD ALICE THEATRE COMPANY presents ROSE AND ROBIN commissioned by Queen’s Hall Arts

Mad Alice Theatre Company brought Rose and Robin to Darlington Library in October 2019 and wowed audiences here.  Their fantastic performance  thrilled people of all ages and has attracted fantastic comments, ”amazing, loved every minute…such talent and content, thank you”.  Rose and Robin is returns to Darlington Library on Saturday 15 February 2020, with tickets priced £1.50.  Doors open 1.30pm, the performance starts at 2pm with a running time of c 50 minutes.

From childhood to old age, Rose and Robin have had a wonderful life together – and they want to share it with YOU!

From sports to stargazing, they’ve enjoyed so much! And most of all, they loved to dance.

They’ve had their bumps in the road, of course, and now Robin can’t remember where they keep the clothes pegs. But that’s all fine, at the end of the day!

Playful and serious, sad and happy, this is a show that celebrates life in all its richness; a story of love and loss, for old and young… especially if you are over seven and have ever lost a sock… Or someone you love.

So, join Rose and Robin through their days of dances and dreams, music and memories. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit… but don’t worry. You’ll be helping them with some of the moves!

A perfect play for children to enjoy with their grandparents and parents – they were kids once as well!


Accessible across a wide age range but targeted for ages 7yrs to 70yrs and over!

Running time: 50 mins approx.

Arts Award Adviser Training dates for the North East

Spread a Little Happiness: The Story of the British Musical. Malcolm Jones.

The British Musical was triumphant in the 1920s and 30s when Noel Coward and Ivor Novello dominated the West End.  However, the arrival of Oklahoma in 1948 changed everything.  For the next 30 years, audiences flocked to see the big American shows. Nonetheless, there were British successes. Composers like Julian Slade, Sandy Wilson, David Heneker and of course, Lionel Bart had enormously popular shows. Then, in the 1970s and 80s Andrew Lloyd Webber established the British musical as an international force.

Lecturer Malcolm Jones has lectured at the V and A and was workshop and Events Manager at the V and A Theatre Museum in Covent Garden.  He was responsible for many theatre talks and workshops and has interviewed leading British actors and directors including Kenneth Cranham, Barry Cryer, June Whitfield, Jude Law, Zoe Wanamaker and Don Black.

Malcolm has lectured and led workshops at numerous venues in London, the UK and America and has contributed as a speaker on theatre on many television and radio programmes. 

This promises to be an entertaining and interesting day. 

Monday 2nd December 2019 at 11am and 2pm

Venue : Blackwell Grange Hotel Darlington.  DL3 8QH

Non-members welcome. Morning lecture £10, afternoon lecture £8, payable on the door. 


Contact: 07816326196

email : 

PLAYLAND by Athol Fugard @ Darlington Hippodrome

Elysium Theatre Company in association with Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, present the Northern Premiere of PLAYLAND by Athol Fugard at the Hullabaloo Space, Darlington Hippodrome, Sunday 3 November 2019 at 7.30pm. Q&A after show. South Africa, New Year’s Eve 1989: a new country is about to born. On a run down funfair somewhere in the wilderness two men confront each other, one white, one black, both with blood on their hands. As night draws in, each must face what they have done, and work out their lives through their own journey of truth and reconciliation. Athol Fugard is South Africa’s greatest living dramatist (“The voice of the conscience of his nation” – the Spectator). whose plays have been performed and filmed all over the world. ‘Playland’ is a beautiful testimony to the power of the human spirit. “A rich examination of faith, morality and evil that men do… a fabulous example of why theatre is a powerful tool for change… a real theatrical treat.” – North East Theatre Guide