Barnard Castle has been recognised nationally as one of the 50 most historically and architecturally important towns in Great Britain and listed in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain. The Grade II listed Witham Hall is an important, central feature of the townscape, located where Horsemarket meets the Market Place.
The Witham Testimonial was built by public subscription as a memorial to Henry T.M. Witham of Lartington, a palaeobotanist and philanthropist who had strived to make provision for the medical and educational needs of Barnard Castle before his death in 1844. Hence the building, which opened in 1846, housed the Mechanics’ Institute and a Dispensary for the Relief of the Sick Poor. By 1860, a large music hall had been built to the rear of the Testimonial Building, whilst the premises later incorporated several small cottages in Hall Street. Together these buildings became known as The Witham and have continued to be used by the people of Barnard Castle as a backdrop for celebration, for participation and for people to gain new experiences.
2013 marks the culmination of over 10 years work to raise money and carry out work to restore its historic fabric and make The Witham fit-for-purpose as a fully accessible modern arts venue for the 21st century. The redevelopment project has seen the original Grade II listed Witham buildings restored, and a new link building constructed between the Witham Testimonial and the Event Hall, incorporating a foyer area, café bar and toilets. In addition, Durham County Council has extended and refurbished its Library building to the rear of The Witham buildings, to include new council offices and a customer access point as well as the continued Library service.
Funding of the project principally came from Durham County Council investing over £2 million with match funding of £336,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £773,879 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF funding is part of a wider programme which has brought more than £300 million to the North East. The Witham and Library development project was led by Barnard Castle Vision, Durham County Council and The Witham Directors.
Hire Charges: Contact the hall directly Registered Charity Number: 1146726
01833 631107 Email: email@example.com
The Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY Registered Charity Number: 1146726
On Street Parking
Wheelchair Access to Side (by prior arr.)
Sat15Jan20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
By Bernard Shaw. Performed by Castle Players.
Shaw’s most popular and successful play has enjoyed numerous revivals and is the basis for Lerner and Loewe’s ever-popular musical, “My Fair Lady”.
Tickets £12 | Under 16s £10 Booking link Castle Players: Pygmalion - The Witham
Thu27Jan20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
A true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman, Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history.
This film will be subtitled. All tickets £5.00
Running time: 112 minutes. Booking link FILM: The Courier (12A) - The Witham
Sat05Feb20222:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Woman, Warrior, Legend. For ten years, Mulan, disguised as a man, has fought for the Chinese Empire, but now it is time to go home. Grist to the Mill Productions and Red Dragonfly Productions brings you the real Chinese heroine that inspired Disney’s animation and live-feature Mulan.
Tickets £10 | £8 Under 16s. Booking link The Ballad of Mulan (10+) - The Witham
Sun06Feb20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
This is a fundraising concert for both Barnard Castle Band and The Witham. The band will perform a programme filled with a variety of pieces to entertain a wide audience, with Andrew Nicholson conducting.
Tickets £8 | £5 Under 16s. Booking link Barnard Castle Band: Live in Concert - The Witham
Sat12Feb20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
James Bond’s mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Starring Daniel Craig as 007.
This film will be subtitled.
Running time: 163 minutes. All tickets £5.00. Booking link FILM: No Time to Die (12A) - The Witham
Thu17Feb20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
An old man, whose wife has just passed away, uses his free local bus pass to travel to the other end of the UK, to where they originally moved from, using only local buses, on a nostalgic trip but also carrying his wife’s ashes in a small suitcase, `taking her back’.
Starring Timothy Spall and Phyllis Logan.
This film will be subtitled.
Running time: 86 minutes. All tickets £5.00. Booking link FILM: The Last Bus (12A) - The Witham
Sat19Feb20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Spend an evening in the company of Harry Venning, an award-winning cartoonist, comedy writer and performer.
Harry’s cartoons have appeared in publications as diverse as The Guardian, Mathematics Today, The Radio Times, Music Teacher and The Stage.
He was awarded UK Strip Cartoonist Of The Year for his Guardian strip Clare In The Community, which he adapted into a Radio 4 sitcom.
Tickets £12 | Under 16s £10. Booking link Harry Venning: The Art of the Cartoonist - The Witham
Thu24Feb20227:00 pmThe Witham Hall
The Monocle – a newly created piece by Rendez-Vous Dance is inspired by the secretly notorious 1930s Parisian lesbian club Le Monocle.
The Monocle will be performed by six outstanding dancers. Conceived as a fun night out, The Monocle will re-shape traditional theatre settings into a club where audiences can participate in a highly virtuosic evening mixing dance and live music.
Have fun dressing up for the occasion and don’t forget your monocle!
Tickets from £5. Booking link The Monocle (14+) - The Witham
Fri25Feb20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Nick Cope has been writing and recording his beautiful and totally unique songs for children and their families for over 10 years. He performs with his guitar and animations to sell-out crowds all over the country. He has an incredible fan base from all over the UK which has just grown immeasurably over the last year due to the phenomenal success of his CBeebies show Nick Cope’s Popcast.
Suitable for all ages. Running time approx. 60 minutes.
Adult Tickets £10 | Child Tickets £8. Booking link Nick Cope Family Concert - The Witham
Thu03Mar20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Following the sell-out success of The War of the Worlds and The Hound of the Baskervilles, Northern Stage presents an electrifying new production adapted from H.G. Wells’ science fiction classic, featuring a new take on one of the most iconic characters in horror fiction.
Running time 80 minutes (without an interval).
Tickets £14 (under 16s £12). Booking link The Invisible Man (12+) - The Witham
Sun06Mar20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Soprano Penelope Randall-Davis and pianist Ingrid Sawers mark this year’s International Women’s Day with a heart-warming and enjoyable mix of operatic arias, art song, music theatre and folk songs celebrating female experience. Interwoven with evocative poetry and prose readings from classic writers, the programme includes music by female composers, as well as Handel, Dvořák, Strauss, Schubert and Fauré.
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10). Booking link Sunday Classics: A Woman’s Lot - The Witham
Wed09Mar20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Award-winning adventurer, John Pilkington, is one of Britain’s most experienced adventurers and public speakers. After a career as an author and photographer, he spent many years with the BBC World Service and Radio 4, making travel documentaries and contributing to programmes such as ‘From Our Own Correspondent’.
In this talk hear how, in 2011, John followed a spectacular branch of the Silk Road, starting in the Caucasus and crossing the Caspian Sea to Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand. Reeling from the beauty of those legendary cities, hear how he turned south-east to explore the High Pamirs of Afghanistan – a region well-known to Marco Polo – before a dramatic finale at the source of the Oxus in the heart of Central Asia.
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10). Booking link John Pilkington – The Silk Road to Afghanistan - The Witham
Sat19Mar20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
John Otway is an English singer-songwriter who has built a sizeable cult audience through extensive touring, a surreal sense of humour and a self-deprecating underdog persona.
Support Act will be local singer-songwriter, Sam Nix from the North East.
This is a standing gig.
Tickets £15 in advance (£18 on the door). Booking link John Otway and the Big Band Gig 5000 Tour - The Witham
Thu24Mar20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Based on the award-winning novel by Graham Swift, starring Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Josh O'Connor and Odessa Young.
On a warm Spring day in 1924, house maid and foundling, Jane Fairchild, finds herself alone on Mother's Day. Her employers, Mr and Mrs Niven, are out and she has the rare chance to spend an afternoon of abandon with her secret lover, Paul.
This film will be shown with subtitles. Tickets £5 or 2 for £8. Booking link Film: Mothering Sunday - The Witham
Sat26Mar20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Maddie Ziegler.
Running time 156 minutes. Tickets £5. Booking link Film: West Side Story (12A) - The Witham
Sun27Mar20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Led by professional Ukrainian violinists Kostia Tsepkov and Iryna Zagorna, with Penny Jones on cello and Jill Russell/Paul Donovan on viola, Sophia Strings will play a wide range of short popular classics and lighter music. There will be something for everyone including a dash of Ukrainian traditional music.
Joining them will be the young Ukrainian emerging artist Sophia Nikolaiets who will sing some well known tunes.
All proceeds will go to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Tickets £6. Booking link: Ukraine Benefit Concert: Sophia Strings - The Witham
Thu31Mar20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
CaroleW Productions presents Melanie Gall’s Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret.
A delightful evening of needlepoint and music with a scintillating selection of the lost knitting songs of WWI and WWII from Canada, Britain, America and France. Audiences are encouraged to bring their own knitting (or crochet) and stitch along to these funny, poignant, toe-tapping, needle-clicking tunes.
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10). Booking link Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret - The Witham
Wed06Apr20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
In their first major post-lockdown tour, one of Britain’s most innovative and thrilling bands will showcase their critically acclaimed new album 'Kistvaen'. Expect intricate, captivating melodies and mesmerising harmonies underpinned with foot-stamping, crowd-pleasing rhythms. Calan’s bewildering array of instruments includes guitars, fiddles, bagpipes, harps, accordions, vocals… and, likely as not, world-class step and clog dancing!
Tickets £16.50 Booking link Calan: Kistvaen - The Witham
Sun10Apr20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Barnard Castle Band is delighted to support The Witham and will perform a programme filled with a variety of pieces to entertain a wide audience. This event is a joint fundraiser event for Barnard Castle Band and The Witham. Tickets £8 (under 16s £5). Booking link Barnard Castle Band: Live in Concert - The Witham
Wed13Apr20226:45 pmThe Witham Hall
19th century Paris is a place of contrasts: glamour and superficiality, love and lust, life and death. Including some of Verdi's most acclaimed Arias, Richard Eyre's production of La Traviata for The Royal Opera House recently celebrated 25 years and this year returns with acclaimed opera star, Pretty Yende as Violetta.
This is a live screening. Tickets £14 (under 16s £12). Booking link Royal Opera House Live: La Traviata - The Witham
Sun24Apr20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
A relaxing afternoon of romantic music for voice, cello and piano including pieces by Berlioz, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Donizetti, Offenbach and Debussy along with some Victorian favourites.
Mary Coffield – Soprano
Alison Gill – Piano
Jeremy Harbottle – Cello
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10). Booking link On Wings of Song - The Witham
Thu28Apr20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Universal Pictures presents…Respect.
Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church choir to her international superstardom, this is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.
Starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker.
With subtitles. Running time 145 minutes. Tickets £5 or 2 for £8. Booking link Film: Respect (12A) - The Witham
Thu05May20227:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Inspired by the story of the mythical wizard, Northern Ballet’s ‘Merlin’ will take audiences on a sweeping epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and more than a little magic. Choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Drew McOnie (Broadway’s King Kong and Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom), expect an enchanting spectacle. Don’t miss the legend reawakened through Northern Ballet’s blend of classical ballet and unrivalled storytelling.
Screening Running time: 130 minutes (including interval). Tickets £10 (under 16s £8) booking link Northern Ballet: Merlin (PG) - The Witham
Sat14May20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
The heavily-autobiographical black and white film is set in the city on the brink of the Troubles in the late 1960s.
Directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, ‘Belfast’ recently won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan
Running time: 98 minutes. Shown with subtitles. Tickets £5 booking link FILM: Belfast (12A) - The Witham
Sun15May20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Deborah Thorne (cello) and Nicholas Butters (piano) perform works by Beethoven, Debussy, Cassado and Franck.
Concert running time 75 minutes (including interval).
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10). Booking link Sunday Classics: Deborah Thorne and Nicholas Butters - The Witham
Thu19May20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 – Nominated Musician Of The Year. Sam and his new band are putting something into English music that has never been there before. This album has the swagger and groove of traditional English music with the huge sound, flare, energy and festival spirit of bands coming out of the Celtic and Scandinavian music scenes. Leaving string sections, piano and harmonium behind, the new band features acoustic and electric guitars and double bass.
Tickets £18 in advance | £20 on the door. Booking link The Sam Sweeney Band - The Witham
Thu26May20227:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian adventure aboard a glamorous river steamer descends into a terrifying search for a murderer when an idyllic honeymoon is shattered by violent deaths.
Based on the novel by Agatha Christie. Directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh. Distributed by Disney (2022).
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright.
Shown with subtitles.
Running time 127 minutes.
Tickets £5 or 2 for £8. Booking link FILM: Death on the Nile (12A) - The Witham
Fri27May20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
With the release of their second album ‘Cairn’, Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio has underlined their status as one of the most exciting young groups in European jazz.
The trio’s music is dynamic and beautifully crafted, reflecting the Scottish landscape and musical traditions while honouring the American and European jazz legacies, and its huge emotional pull has brought audiences to their feet across Northern Europe and resulted in an appearance at Ronnie Scott’s International Piano Trio Festival.
Tickets £15 (under 16s £10). Booking link Fergus McCreadie Jazz Trio - The Witham
Wed01Jun20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
Featuring the voices of Justin Fletcher and Nicole Davis from CBeebies as Pongo the Pig and Molly-Moo the Cow (PLEASE NOTE: JUSTIN AND NICOLE DO NOT APPEAR IN PERSON). Come dressed in your best party clothes and help make Pongo’s Party a day to remember, by joining in a show full of fun, songs and laughter – play in a huge children’s band and take part in the town’s biggest ever game of pass the parcel!
With a colourful farmyard and host of loveable puppet characters, Pongo’s Party is a family show particularly suitable for 2 – 7 year olds.
Songs include: The Wheels On The Bus, Pat-A-Cake, I Am The Music Man, Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and many more!
Running Time: 90 minutes (including interval). Adults £10 | Children £8 booking link Pongo’s Party! - The Witham
Wed08Jun20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
A Way Home: The fight for a place to belong
A play by Christina Castling. A Carole Wears Production.
It’s 1951 and a third of County Durham’s villages have been classified as ‘D’. No longer deemed worthy of investment, they’re expected to die quietly. But they refuse to go without a fight.
A Way Home is a new play rooted in the stories and memories of the people who called those D villages home. A County-wide fight lasting over 25 years becomes a 12-month journey at Bet’s kitchen table as she and her family grapple with what identity, loss and belonging really look like.
Tickets £12 (under 16s £10) booking link A Way Home - The Witham
Thu09Jun20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Promoted by Funny Way to be Comedy
“The classical concert you’ve always wanted to see”
A unique mix of classic comedy and classical music. Following the surprise success of his Sony album, which reached No 1 in the UK Classical Album charts, comes Alistair McGowan’s new show, combining his talents as master impressionist and comedian with his new-found talent as a classical pianist!
Tickets £22 booking link Funny Way To Be Comedy – Alistair McGowan: The Piano Show (12+ Family Friendly) - The Witham
Wed22Jun20225:00 pmThe Witham Hall
A playful, fresh and engaging new show aimed at children aged 4+ and their families. Meet a hedgehog waking up from hibernation to find the world is not as it once was. Come along on the adventure and see the world through tiny eyes! Playful, fresh and engaging, HEDGE combines the magic of dance with beautiful costumes, innovative props and puppetry to create a fun-filled performance space for little ones to enjoy.
“Breathtaking…I really wish all children could be introduced to dance in this way.” Audience member.
Adult £6 | Child £5 Booking link: HEDGE - The Witham
Thu23Jun20222:00 pmThe Witham Hall
‘The Duke’ is a moving true story that celebrates a man who was determined to live a meaningful life. Set in 1961, it follows the story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington.
Starring Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Fionn Whitehead
Running time 95 minutes. Matinee 2pm showing with subtitles. Additional evening showing 7pm. Tickets £5. Booking link: FILM: The Duke (12A) - The Witham
Sat25Jun20227:00 pmThe Witham Hall
We are looking forward to our first Witham fundraising concert which also takes part for us during our 2nd Community Music Festival.
The Orchestra is a true community of instruments and players of all ages and abilities who meet regularly on most Saturday mornings in St. Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle to rehearse music from the shows, light classics, pop, standards and novelty numbers. Many of our players are local but not all have that luxury! Often teaming up with our Community Choir for fun, family concerts, tonight our guests are the school choir from Green Lane while Cream Tees will entertain you in the foyer pre-show.
Tickets £8 | Under 16s £5. Booking link: Community Orchestra: Summer Sizzler Concert - The Witham
Fri30Sep20227:30 pmThe Witham Hall
Elysium Theatre Company present: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House translated by Michael Meyer with Alice Frankham as Nora and Danny Solomon as Torvald.
Nora is a happily married woman with a loving husband and three beautiful children. Everything seems perfect in her happy home. But when a man from her past appears demanding what he owes her, her ideal life unravels and, as she realises the truth of her marriage, she is forced to make the ultimate choice.
Don't miss this thrilling play!
Tickets £14 | Under 16s £12. Booking link A Doll’s House - The Witham