The Witham launches an exciting summer programme

Barnard Castle’s community arts centre launches new summer programme with a wider range of events and more community activities – demonstrating that the venue offers something for everyone this summer.

Featuring a cover photo of Grease: The Sing-Along (Saturday 24 August) and listing events chronologically, the new programme demonstrates a real change in the direction the arts centre is headed, showing that The Witham team are not only listening but also responding to feedback from local community and visitors alike.

Highlights include Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer (3 May), a funny solo show combining amusing storytelling with Indian dance to take audiences on a revealing autobiographical journey.

The music offer at The Witham continues to broaden from the Reg Vardy Brass band (15 June) and Samling Academy Summer Concert (20 July) to Queen of Rock (17 May) and Cara Dillon (8 June).

Fundraising gigs offer the chance to enjoy great music, thanks to the donated support of Grace Notes (local musicians, old and young, offering a relaxed afternoon of acoustic music (2 – 4pm, 6 July) and The Big Band Theory (29 June), a 15-strong line up of north east musicians playing hits such by Arctic Monkeys, Fall Out Boy and Calvin Harris. Barnard Castle School are bringing two studio concerts to showcase young musicians from Andy Yeadon’s Rock and Pop sessions (25 June) and Philippa Dearsley’s Vocal Studio (14 June).

The Witham is an increasingly active participant in local events including Barnard Castle’s 1940s weekend with the Weekend Dance including swinging music from Damaris Jean and the Ragtime Rewind Vintage Swing Band (22 Jun). There is also a collaboration between The Bowes Museum and TCR Hub with the youth theatre days for 8 – 16 year olds: Turrets Take Over (12 – 14 August). This is part of the Barnard Castle Holiday Club – a fortnight across the 3 venues to provide fantastic childcare solutions for local families and a host of exciting activities (13 – 23 August).

Spoken word events are proving popular including sell out shows An Evening with Julian Norton (8 May) and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen (24 July) who, due to popular demand, is booked to return in November. Chris Lloyd, chief feature writer of The Northern Echo and Darlington & Stockton Times, brings local history to life, speaking about Henry King Spark, a megalomaniac maverick businessman who ended up beaten and bankrupt in Barnard Castle (Wed 15 May).

There is lots for families to enjoy including Lyngo Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk by Marcello Chiarenza. Adapted and performed by former Cbeebies presenter Patrick Lynch for families with children aged 3+ (Saturday 27 July).  The Witham gallery in August will become an outreach room of fun for The Bowes Museum Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants about children’s illustrator Nick Sharratt.

The Funny Way To Be Comedy Club brings world-class names to Barnard Castle from Sophie Willan of BBC Radio 4 fame (13 May) to Friday Night Dinner star, Tom Rosenthal (18 July).

The Witham are introducing a new monthly acoustic café slot for local musicians to busk on the balcony over the café, kickstarting with TCR Hub Young Musicians on Saturday 25 May, 2 – 4pm.

There is now a coming soon section in the summer programme featuring popular tribute band, Beatlemania (Friday 6 Sept), Northern Stage’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (10 October), Funny Way to Be Comedy Lost Voice Guy (Tuesday 29 October) and Northern Ballet’s screenings of Dracula on Halloween (Thursday 31 October).

As Sarah Gent comments, ‘We are working hard to reach out wider and further than The Witham has previously, programming events with more of a community focus and over a wider spectrum of genres. This new programme demonstrates this.’

Enjoy browsing through events at The Witham from May to August 2019… and visit our What’s On page to discover more.