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Darlington Hippodrome Proud To Support Pride

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in the UK – a day when hundreds of LGBTQ+ people and their supporters arrived in London to protest a society where they were not safe to be themselves.

Today, we live in a society where LGBTQ+ people can live openly and free, where LGBTQ+ lives and history are taught in schools to the next generation.

Darlington Hippodrome will always be an inclusive venue and is proud to show support for the Pride movement. Inclusive workplaces and venues play a huge part in making sure LGBTQ+ people can feel safe and fulfil their potential.

Andrew Hutchinson-Clish, Senior House manager told us “‘Pride is important today, more than ever and we take pride at Darlington Hippodrome as being an inclusive venue that welcomes all of our customers. Arts venues have always been a safe place for the LGBT+ community and we will always ensure we are a welcoming venue where people are free to be their authentic selves. We have actively invested in our front of house teams to receive dedicated training to raise awareness and increase confidence in using inclusive language.’

To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride, a special art film is currently being created. Called Opening The Closet Doors this is a socially engaged art project facilitated by artist Sarah Li. Sarah has been working with local LGBTQ+ people to create a film exploring LGBTQ+ themes, histories or inspirations in the Darlington Hippodrome archive.

Sarah said “LGBTQ+ histories have been erased, ignored or lost due to historic policies, societal perceptions and ongoing issues affecting the community. With this project, we hope to start to change that a little by bringing some of these histories to the fore in a creative, explorative way and acknowledging the gaps or difficulties in uncovering these histories”.

“Building on the amazing work of the artists in the Hippodrome’s archive, we are also planning a special legacy exhibition. This exhibition will celebrate the role of principal boys in Pantomime and showcase the host of famous faces who have played this unique role at the Hippodrome over the last 100 years”.

The Hippodrome’s Programming and Development Director Heather Tarran-Jones said “The Hippodrome prides itself on creating an open and inclusive atmosphere for our audience, visiting theatre companies and the theatre team. We’re always proud to support Pride month but just as importantly we are focused on offering a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community every day of the year. Opening the Closet Doors offers an exciting glance into the hidden LGBTQ+ stories of the theatre’s past, and we’re delighted to be supporting such a valuable Arts Council funded project and celebrating the findings through the upcoming screening and exhibition.

Opening The Closet Doors will be screened at Darlington Hippodrome on Thursday 11 August at 7.30pm on a ‘pay wat you can’ basis. For more information or to book call the Box Office on 01325 405405 or visit


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