THEATER, crafts, poetry and music will take center stage in Darlington this weekend as the city’s arts festival returns.

The event takes place from Friday to Monday and features a range of events including Gothic writing workshops, live music, theater, poetry readings, exhibitions, film making, craft skills , dancing and the possibility of building a replica of the city clock.

It will take place in venues around town, with a marquee in the Market Square and Forum, the Friends Reunion House, the Hippodrome, the Majestic Theater, the Head of Steam Museum and the Cornmill Mall.

Councilor Alan Marshall, Darlington City Council Cabinet Member for the Economy, said: “Darlington has always enjoyed a thriving arts scene and I am delighted that we are able to support this Arts Showcase Weekend and activities.

“There really is something for everyone and I encourage people to check out the full program to see what’s on offer and get involved. ”

The marquee will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Friday to Sunday and will host around 40 craft stalls, free activities and exhibitions will also be offered.

On Friday there will also be a free semaphore and flag-making session, as well as music in the hall and jazz and Peruvian music in the market square. At High Row there will be poetry readings and there will be film screenings and other activities at Guru Boutique and Friends Meeting House, the Clock Tower on Saturday and a dance performance on Sunday.

Theatergoers can pay what they decide on at a Green Theater performance of Under Milk Wood at the Friends Meeting House on Friday while tickets are on sale for the thriller The Cat and the Canary at Darlington Racecourse and musical performances at the Forum Music Center.

Craft workshops include lino printing, make your own lampshade with Gillian Arnold, and there is a range of writing and poetry workshops throughout the weekend, as well as an exhibition of photos at the Crown Street Library, which opens Mondays and features work from the Darlington Association of Photographers.

The festival is a board-run joint venture sponsored by Darlington for Culture (DfC).

DfC President Jo Potter added: “The board has recognized the benefits and success of other regional arts events in drawing people to city centers. DfC appreciates the council’s significant investment in the festival and we look forward to securing its regular place in the city’s calendar of events.

The full program is on darlingtonforculture.org.

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