HURRAH for the Darlington Hippodrome, our well-loved Darlington theatre previously called the Civic, now completely refurbished, new bits built on, up-to-date facilities and all breathtaking in its gorgeousness.

And hurrah for Darlington Operatic Society, rightfully claiming the honour of putting on the opening production, of songs from the musical theatre. There are some medleys from classic favourites like Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Miss Saigon and Top Hat, with solos from some lesser-known shows like the intriguingly-named Urinetown, which has thus far escaped my notice.

The Society has grown in musical stature year after year, and its reputation has attracted such a wealth of talent that it’s impossible to single out any of the soloists for a special mention. Each and every one has an individual style, expertly showcased in the selection of songs by the production team, primarily Director Joanne Hand, also responsible for the excellent choreography, and Musical Director Steven Hood.

As always with DOS the ensemble pieces are spine-tinglingly good; there’s such a joyous sound coming from that stage that it makes you want to be part of it! That’s one of the reasons for their enormous appeal, I think – the company is delighting in displaying formidable talent, and the audience feels good about it, too. Certainly this production is no exception; the costumes are terrific, the choreography is amazing and the singing raises goose-bumps. What’s not to love?

Sue Heath