DARLINGTON Hippodrome is gearing up to welcome back theatre-goers this month and has released a jam-packed programme of shows.

Over the last year venue staff have worked hard to keep the theatre viable through the pandemic and to ensure its future success.

Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund has awarded grants totalling almost £1.5m, allowing the theatre to navigate what has been one of the most difficult periods in its 114-year history.

It has now launched its new season brochure and staff are working tirelessly towards a grand re-opening on Monday, May 17.

Big names set to appear at the Hippodrome this year include Jason Manford, Jools Holland and Sir Michael Parkinson.

The smash-hit musical Rock of Ages will be staged at the Hippodrome, whilst Craig Revel Horwood’s Strictly Ballroom is sure to be a hit with fans of the BBC show.

Family shows on the bill include the Horrible Histories team with Barmy Britain, In The Night Garden, Dragons and Mythical Beasts and Milkshake Live.

Meanwhile there will be one-night-only tributes to the music of The Temptations, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac, The Rat Pack, Queen and Tina Turner.

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.”