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CaptureSwashbuckling pirates, the ugly duckling and a month long festival of arts and music are all set for a date with a County Durham theatre.

Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s spring season kicks off with its second pantomime of the year, before welcoming family favourites, side splitting comedy, theatre “hooligans” and  the popular febfest.

Robin Byers, Durham County Council’s service manager for place and experience, said: “It’s an exciting time for residents of Bishop Auckland and neighbouring communities with large-scale events such as Bishop Auckland Food Festival and Kynren coming up in 2016.

“We’re therefore delighted to be able to present such a cultural programme of events at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, bringing theatre productions such as Stowaway as well as diverse music and comedy shows.”

The season starts with the Bishop Auckland Theatre Society’s pantomime, Robinson Crusoe’s Pirate Adventure, which runs from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 January.

There’s more for families on Wednesday 27 January too as Northumberland Theatre Company presents the funny and heart-warming story of The Ugly Duckling, by Neil Duffield, which is packed with song and dance.

The New Year also brings new laughs courtesy of the Hilarity Bites Comedy Club, with headliner Eddy Brimson sure to have audiences in stitches on Friday 22 January.

The monthly comedy club then returns on Friday 19 February with headliner Raymond Mearns, and again on Friday 18 March with former winner of the TimeOut Comedian Of The Year award, Richard Morton.

Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a production of The Pitheaps.

The show, which follows the journey of twelve young people through a fateful summer, runs from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 February.

The Town Hall is also joining forces with febfest, a three-week programme of arts events, to present a number of shows.

The festival begins with UK jazz ensemble Swing Manouche featuring Daniel John Martin on Wednesday 10 February, and continues with an evening of exquisite vocals from singer-songwriter Paul Armfield on Monday 15 February.

There’s more music on Saturday 20 February courtesy of The Baghdaddies who, fresh from a nineteen year world tour and fifteen appearances at Glastonbury, will take to the stage alongside performers from the North East.

Jackass Youth Theatre present their latest show What Are They Like – a play written as part of the National Theatre’s Connections 500 Project – on Monday 22 February.

And BATH’s involvement in febfest concludes on Wednesday 24 February with Stowaway, Hannah Barker and Lewis Hetherington’s story of a frozen body that falls out of a plane and crash-lands in a B&Q car park.

The spring season ends with music from Mersey beat band The Fabs on Friday 11 March and Lindisfarne frontman Marty Craggs’ The Happy Cats on Saturday March 12.

To book tickets for any of these upcoming events, please contact the Town Hall box office on 03000 269 524 or visit the venue in person. For more information and to see the full season of events, visit www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk

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