THE SHOW WENT ON(LINE)
Moving forward, looking
back: a year of ingenuity for Darlington Hippodrome.
On Monday 16th March 2020,
Darlington Hippodrome temporarily closed its doors following official
government guidance that advised people should avoid public buildings due to
the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's been a demanding and unpredictable year
since then, but thanks to the theatre’s dedicated staff and most importantly, their
loyal customers, there has been plenty to smile about and take part in over the
The regular online Hippodrome Pub Quiz (without the
pub!) has been the smash hit of the year. Marketing Officer Julian Cound has
excelled as the genial host of the regular brain workouts. Julian has helmed 67
trivia streams which have seen over 4200 quizzers take part!
It’s been a challenge to keep active whilst we’ve been
in lockdown but with the help of dance partners The D Project, the theatre has
put on over 50 dance fitness sessions for adults. The Monday Movers session for
the over 65s has proven particularly popular. The kids have been alright too
with 130 youth theatre and dance sessions taking place onstage (when
restrictions allowed) and online.
Senior House Manager Andy Hutchinson-Clish took us on
a virtual tour around the Hippodrome’s usually off-limits backstage areas and
led viewers on a virtual ghost tour (the theatre has so many ghosts this
required two videos!). These videos have racked up over 10,400 views.
The Hippodrome’s two charities of the year, St
Teresa’s Hospice and Darlington Samaritans, have been the recipients of the
continued generosity of the theatre’s following. Over the last year,
participants in our Hippodrome Pub Quiz have donated £315 to Darlington
Samaritans. In early December 2020, a group of staff (and a few dogs) ran the
St Teresa’s Hospice Santa Fun Run dressed as Santas, raising an incredible
£1290 to help the hospice continue the vital work they do.
it’s not just external charities that have experienced the kindness of the
theatre-going public - a staggering £20,000 has been donated to the theatre by customers.
People have also been able to enjoy classic
cinema screenings, book clubs, artist masterclasses, literary livestreams, a
digital careers fair, and life drawing sessions.
There is hope on the horizon for the return of live
events and the Hippodrome team are working hard to continue their innovative
programme of online events whilst planning an exciting programme of public
events both inside and outside the theatre.
Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council's
cabinet member for local services said “The theatre has faced a tough
year but managed to keep the public engaged with an exciting and regular
programme of events and activities. The generosity of the public towards the theatre’s
chosen charities and the theatre itself has been heart-warming and commendable.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel and I’m sure we all can’t wait
until we’re able to enjoy the Hippodrome again in person.”
Keep up to date with what’s going on at
the theatre by following them on social media:
Find out what’s on: