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Darlington Hippodrome reopens after £13.7m revamp

Darlington Hippodrome has reopened to the public Darlington Hippodrome has reopened to the public
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Darlington Hippodrome has reopened to the public after a £13.7m restoration project.

The theatre, which has been dark for 18 months, was formerly known as the Darlington Civic Theatre.

The venue’s Edwardian auditorium has been restored, and a three-storey glass atrium has been added to the building, consisting of the main entrance, box office and a cafe and bar.

Accessibility has been improved with the installation of lifts to all seating levels, and capacity has increased from 900 to more than 1,000.

There have been improvements to dressing rooms and a larger scenery dock area, as well as a new fly system, to allow for larger touring productions than the previous backstage area allowed.

Theatre director Lynda Winstanley said: “The restoration project has seen a tired theatre brought back to life. It is now a venue fit for purpose for generations to come and the entire team is looking forward to welcoming audiences back to the venue.

“It has been a joy to see the building take shape with the restoration of the old complemented by the new.”

Funding for the project came from a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as grants, donations and an ongoing ticket restoration levy.

Future productions in the renovated theatre include David Walliams’ Awful Auntie, The Play That Goes Wrong and comedians Stewart Lee and Tom Allen.

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