WHEN Darlington Civic Theatre closed for renovation, many people suggested that it would lose its clientele to Sunderland and Newcastle and struggle to get them back.

Since reopening as The Hippodrome, the quality and popularity of shows has proven that we have a real gem. On a recent trip to London I was proud to hear that people from across the UK know about our theatre and are very impressed with the staff and ambition.

Take the forthcoming comedy whodunnit Curtains starring Jason Manford – the Hippodrome will be the first place in the North of England to show this smash hit. I hope the people of Darlington realise what a wonderful venue we have and turn out to support shows that others can only dream of hosting.

Patrick Church, Darlington