The restored Darlington Hippodrome features three new galleries. The Pantomime Gallery celebrate the history and traditions of pantomime, while the young person's gallery, supported by the Gillian Dickinson Trust, is a changing space dedicated to celebrating and displaying work for and by young people, in and around Darlington. The ground floor heritage promenade hosts changing exhibitions, drawing on the theatre's archival collection.  

What's on in the galleries 

The Catherine Cookson Heritage Gallery - Heritage Promenade

Saturday 18 November 2017 - Thursday 29 March 2018

Moving Forward, Looking Back: A History of the Hippodrome

Moving Forward, Looking Back is a celebration of the Hippodrome’s unique story and its journey from 1907 to 2017. The exhibition highlights the remarkable architectural features of the Edwardian building, the ingenuity and dedication of the theatre’s directors beginning with Signor Rino Pepi, and showcases the work of Willmott Dixon and the team who have restored the theatre. This exhibition features behind-the-scenes photographs of the restoration and offer glimpses of previously hidden features within the building.  

Thursday 15 March - Monday 2 July 2018

On the Street Where You Live

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this exciting photographic exhibition will be the result of a project by local residents and business around the theatre. Led by the local community and a local artist, On the Street Where you Live explores and celebrates the history the theatre shares with the community living and working around it.

Thursday 21 June - Sunday 30 September 2018

The Great Joe Wilson Story

A new exhibition charting the incredible life story of Joe Wilson, ‘The Bard of Tyneside’, and the development of music hall in Darlington. Joe’s best known song, ‘Keep Your Feet Still, Geordie, Hinny’, is one of 360 songs
he wrote during his brief life. He was the undisputed music hall superstar of his day and he appeared at all the major music hall venues across the north-east, until his untimely death in 1875. His story and his songs are also brought to life in a new play from acclaimed north-east playwright Ed Waugh. The Great Joe Wilson premieres at Darlington Hippodrome in September and is a funny, moving and uplifting show which will have everyone laughing and singing along.

The Gillian Dickinson Gallery - Dress Circle Level

Thursday 22 March - Monday 4 June 2018 

Setting the Scene

Darlington Hippodrome has been working with second year design students at Cleveland College of Art and Design to reimagine the theatre’s opening programme using technical and design skills to create scale models of set designs.  Setting the Scene will give you the chance to explore the methodology of designing a full size stage set and translating a director’s vision into a dynamic, creative space. 

Friday 8 June - January 2019 

Celebrate Youth Theatre and Youth Dance at the Hipp

Showcasing the amazing work and skill of our youth classes, this exhibition will explore the opportunities the young people have being part of our youth programme. This photography-led exhibition will celebrate the achievements of past and current students as well as offering sneak peaks into their upcoming performances and events!

Pantomime Gallery - 2nd Floor

Permanent exhibition

Hooray for the Hipp - 110 Years of Pantomime

Celebrating 110 years of pantomimes at the Hippodrome, this permanent exhibition will guide you through the A-Z of pantomime traditions and popular practices.  Tracing pantomime from its classical and European roots as the commedia dell’arte, through its Victoriana revival, you will be able to learn about the origins of some of your favourite jokes, characters and stories.  


Footlights bar

Within the Footlights Bar this permanent exhibition is a chance to step back in time and explore the backstage world of an Edwardian theatre. You will be able to learn the secrets behind the tricks and techniques that astonished Edwardian audiences, such as the ghostly apparitions on stage, flying actors and quick change scenery.