As if this is on in Darlington…

Posted on Saturday 23 September

By Jade Sloan

As if this is on in Darlington…

…said the lady standing in front of me watching The Ball in our market square.

What did she mean? Did she mean we weren’t worthy of such a show? Or that the show was too quirky for us? Or too grand for us? Or maybe she just thought it was crazy.

Photo by Rich Kenworthy

I was surprised by her shock but I don’t know why, as this isn’t the first time I’ve heard such a comment. Some time ago, I was chatting to a gentleman at our Jabbervan, when I overheard a lady say to her friend, “World Class theatre in Darlington, as if anything in Darlington is World Class.” Comments like this get me quite defensive, because yes the theatre we bring to this town is absolutely world class and we’ve been doing it now for 4 years, we’re in our 9th season, but also I get defensive about our beautiful, historical town, for I believe Darlington is World Class in itself.

Our prestigious railway heritage is what we’re known for and that does make our town truly remarkable but there are also so many other reasons why we are world class and we deserve world class events.

We’re a market town and our indoor market houses our beautiful town clock, gifted to us from Joseph Pease, the bells of our town clock are the sister bells to Big Ben. Alfred Waterhouse who is responsible for London’s Natural History Museum designed the indoor market and our Barclays branch on High Row.

We’re also home to Cleveland Bridge, the company who built the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We’re home to lots of massive engineering companies like Cummins and Amec and randomly, we were also once known for having the most cinema seats per head of population in the UK.

Photo by Rich Kenworthy

The William Stead pub is called the William Stead, because the editor of the Northern Echo was William Thomas Stead and he sadly died on the Titanic when it sank in 1912.There are so many wonderful stories about this town and although I think everywhere deserves to experience theatre, if you had to earn it, then Darlington, without a doubt would earn it, because we are, as a town, world class.