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On Wednesday 29 March at 7.30pm, the north-east’s premier chamber music ensemble, Royal Northern Sinfonia of Sage Gateshead will be on tour to The Witham, Barnard Castle’s vibrant art centre.

Brining a wonderful programme of chamber music for strings, the orchestra’s repertoire will include Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Viola, Schubert’s String Quartet No.12, Kodaly’s Serenade for Strings and Brahms’s String Quartet No.2.

Royal Northern Sinfonia has built a world-wide reputation for the quality of its music making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with the audiences. Maddy Sutton, Audience Development Officer at The Witham says: ‘It’s always a treat to have the orchestra come and perform in Barnard Castle. It really is an opportunity to witness the finest musicianship with such a beautiful set of pieces on offer. It’s true that the orchestra are always so amiable and entertaining- it creates such a personal experience in listening to classical music’.

Another offering of first-class performance is a live broadcast from Covent Garden by The Royal Opera House of Madama Butterfly on Thursday 30 March at 7.15pm.  This will be a unique viewing to see Puccini’s famous opera conducted by Antonion Pappano in a close-up and high-definition experience.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, book online: or call 01833 631107.




Children’s theatre company Kitchen Zoo are bringing their first show, The Owl and The Pussycat, to The Witham in March, in a spectacular adaptation of the classic poem which features puppetry and live music. The North East based company are setting sail in their pea green boat and will be performing the children’s tale at 11am on 18th March at The Witham and is perfect for children aged 3 – 7 years.

The Owl and the Pussycat live in a dull and dusty world, so imagine how shocked and surprised they are when a stupendous storm sweeps them out of the window, SPLASH! On to an unexpected sea voyage to a curious land. But who will they meet? Which way should they go? And, what is a runcible spoon?

Kitchen Zoo is a duo made up of performers Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie, who have worked together since 2014 on various projects. The Owl and the Pussycat will be their first

show as Kitchen Zoo and it has been developed in partnership with ARC, Stockton-on-Tees and The Witham, Barnard Castle.

Hannah described her excitement: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to explore this brilliantly bizarre adventure by Edward Lear. There is such beauty in his storytelling and the

language he uses which we are excited to bring to life through music and song as we work with the wonderfully talented Jeremy Bradfield as musician performer.”

Tickets can be bought for The Witham by calling the Box Office on 01833 631107 or at


On Friday 10 March at 8pm, Oysters 3 will perform a fresh acoustic set with off-the-wall stories at The Witham Art Centre in Barnard Castle.

Folk-rock legends and the creative-heart behind Oystersband, John Jones, Alan Prosser and Ian Telfer bring a prolific show giving audiences an insight into the band’s career with songs spanning across the decades in a relaxed atmosphere. This show presents a special opportunity to enjoy stripped-back versions of the band’s back catalogue.

Famed for their distinctive mix of crafted lyrics, big tunes with a thorough grounding in British traditional music, this is a rare chance to see the trio up close and personal and to remember their inspirational 40-year international career.

The band state: ‘The origin of this idea was a challenge to do something different in addition to a ‘normal’ concert. The really interesting part is that the songs stand up so well in a stripped-down format. It lets us explore some less familiar parts of our repertoire too.’

Maddy Sutton, Audience Development Officer at The Witham says, ‘Oysters 3 are a prime example of musicians who are willing to take risks with the genre and are still as passionate today about live performance as they were when they started out. Therefore, I think this show really will be a celebration of their stories and ambitions within the British folk scene.’

The Witham have teamed with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme to bring Canadian company Les Bordéliques to Barnard Castle on Wednesday 8th March at 7.30pm. They bring a masterful and memorable performance that takes a fun look at the dating game.

Bind Date is a funny and touching performance from two Canadian Cirque De Soleil performers whose desperate search from a soul mate is told through a captivating mix of circus, dance, mime and music.

The performers convey the personality archetypes of:  shy, pretentious, neurotic, rebellious and romantic. From stilts to high heels, classical violin to contemporary music, step dancing shoes to ballet slippers, these archetypes bring us an amusing dating game through the tease of seduction and a comedic clash of personalities. 

By combining narrative and clown-inspired theatre, Les Bordéliques weave movement, melody and rhythm into imaginative performances, bringing colourful characters and tales of whimsy to life.

Sarah Gent, Marketing Manager at The Witham said “…We are delighted to be welcoming Les Bordeliques to The Witham in this funny and touching performance. It’s fantastic to work with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme to bring such a high calibre of theatre to Barnard Castle. This is for everyone aged eleven and over to come and enjoy this captivating mix of circus, mime, dance and theatre!”

On Friday 3 March at 8pm a unique mix of folk and traditional music from around the world is brought to The Witham,  Barnard Castle’s vibrant arts centre by The Hut People.

The English instrumental duo is firmly established as one of the most unique and entertaining acts on the UK folk scene today, mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex with their distinctive sound of piano accordion and foot-stomping percussion. Accordionist Sam Pirt & Percussionist Gary Hammond have impressive backgrounds in music having been part of and performed alongside legendary acts such as The Beautiful South, Nina Simone, The Dubliners & Sharon Shannon. A treat for a Barnard Castle venue, the duo have been a hit at local Swaledale Festival for eight years running with sell out shows across the board thanks to their humour and charm.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, book online: or call 01833 631107.

The Witham's new Food Fridays is launching with a healthy dollop of Archer's Ice-cream on Friday 27 January at 10am. 

Once a month, we invite a local supplier to the Dispensary Café to ‘meet the maker’, promote their delicious wares and give you the chance to taste the best of our area’s food and drink.

Come and say hello and enjoy some tasty produce! Take a look below for dates and producer details:

Archer’s Ice Cream 27 January

Teesdale Cheesemakers 17 February

Just William Hedgerow Products 24 March

The Witham's weekly classes and workshops have grown!

With a wide selection of arts and well-being activities for all levels ages, it's a great time to join our growing community and come to stretch both the mind and body, explore your creativity and meet like-minded folks. Check out the following and please do help us by spreading the word!

You can now enjoy poetry classes (Poetry for the Petrified, Tues 1.30 - 3.30pm), be part of a reading group (Royal Literary Society round, Thurs 10.30 - 12), be part of the new Barnard Castle Art and Crafts group (Fri, 10-12pm), join our new MusiKality Services community choir with live band (Tues, 6-7pm) or the new Ukelule Band (Tues, 6-7pm).

If you need to relax, join Mediation (Thurs, 7.30 - 9pm) and embrace Yolo Pilates for both mental and physical benefits (Weds, 9.15 - 10.15, 10.30 - 11.30, Fri 9.30 - 10.30am).

For children and young people, we have KanDo Arts Youth Theatre group (Thurs, 4 - 5.30pm), Turrets Youth Theatre (Weds, 4 - 5.30 juniors, 5.30 - 7pm seniors) and the new Musical theatre group, Capella Performers (Sat, 11 - 12.30pm juniors, 12.30 - 2pm seniors). There are also Ballet and Tap lessons (Tues, 4 -7pm with 45 min lessons) for different ages

If you have small children, enjoy very creative sessions with Suitcase Studio Inquisitive Infants (Tuesdays 10.30 - 12pm) and have a sing and dance with Wiggles and Wobbles (Thursday, 10.45 - 12pm).

It's wonderful to offer a wealth of weekly workshops here at The Witham... come and join our growing community and make 2017 your year of creative explorations.

Pop in, call 01833 631107 or head to our workshop pages for more information. Bring on the arts adventures in 2017!

Jim Moray presents Upcetera at The Witham

On Friday 20 January, The Witham welcome Jim Moray for his first tour date, presenting his album Upcetera, described “Jim Moray’s masterpiece… very much an album of our times” by Mojo.

Multi-award winning folk musician Jim Moray presents a live performance of his acclaimed album Upcetera at The Witham in Barnard Castle on Friday 20 January. Accompanied by a 9 piece ensemble including strings, woodwind, piano, double bass and drums, he reimagines traditional ballads as dramatically orchestrated torch songs or a sort of English Fado.

For 15 years Jim Moray has been at the forefront of a new movement in English traditional music. His debut album Sweet England changed the sound of folk song and won a brace of awards for its innovative melding of orchestration and electronica. Subsequent albums embraced everything from grime to Johnny Marr-esque guitar pop, but at their heart was always Jim’s unmistakeable soulful and yearning voice; singing old songs in a new way.

Upcetera heralds a new chapter for the producer and has received the best reviews of his career, including five stars from Mojo, fRoots and R2 magazines. He has also found the time to contribute three new songs to BBC Dr Who spin-off show Class, and launched his own Low Culture Podcast.


Reviews for Upcetera include:

★★★★★ fRoots  ★★★★★ R2   ★★★★★ Mojo ★★★★ The Observer   

★★★★ Songlines★★★ The Guardian  ★★★ Record Collector


As Sarah Gent , Marketing Manager at The Witham comments, ‘Jim Moray is one of the most consistently inventive musicians working in traditional folk music today. We are delighted to be welcoming this fantastic musician to kickstart our 2017 Music Season.’

Tickets are available at,uk or by phone on 01833 631107 (10 – 4pm, Tues – Sat). You can also call into the Box Office at 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle during these hours.


On Wednesday 14 December at 7.30pm, Musicality, Richmond Ladies’ Choir will be performing at The Witham Arts Centre to celebrate the month of December with feast of festive music.

Bringing their superb harmonies and energising performance, the popular ladies choir, under the direction of professional musician and composer Gillian Ash will promise an evening of entertain Christmas favourites for all to enjoy.

Musicality are well known to be highly skilled having received the accolade of ‘Best Choir’ in the 2015 Tournament of Song and walked away with the highest marks awarded to a choir in the last 50 years.

The audience on the evening will be treated to a perfect mix of traditional carols and contemporary Christmas tunes that will celebrate everything that makes December the season to be jolly.


Tickets are £8 adults and £6 for students and under 16s. To book tickets and find out more information, visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, book online: or call 01833 631107.

The Witham is looking forward to a varied cinema and live screening season this winter to include the World Live Premier of I AM BOLT, The Royal Opera House’s production of The Nutcracker and an old favourite, White Christmas. DOWNLOAD YOUR FILM SEASON FLYER HERE

On Thursday 3rd November, 7.30pm, Film Thursdays return with The Big Short, starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell. Described as a witty and absurd retelling of the mid-2000’s U.S housing mortgage crisis, the film has been celebrated as ‘an improbably triumph!’ Following this on Thursday 24th November is Hail, Caesar! – an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age with George Clooney and Scarlet Johansson.

A highlight for autumn is I AM BOLT on Monday 28th November, 7.30pm. A documentary film unveiling the real sporting icon and shot on location during the athletes exploits of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympic Games, the Germany World Championships as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Christmas comes early to the art centre with the annual festive film – a very special occasion which for last year saw a sold-out viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life. This year, the Witham team welcomes everybody to come and see White Christmas on Thursday 1st December at 7.30pm with mulled wine and mince pies for a particular heart-warming celebration.

The Christmas theme continues with the Royal Ballet’s Live Screening of The Nutcracker on Thursday 8th December at 7.15pm - a perfect festive production of a classic tale for the whole family to enjoy. With Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, a Christmas tree that magically grows, a battle between toy soldiers and an Army of Mice led by The Mouse King, this event presented by Darcey Bussell is not to be missed.

Finally, a must-see before the year is out is the National Theatre Live’s West End Production starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, No Man’s Land on Thursday 15th December, 7pm. With five star reviews, the duo are unmissable in one of the greatest plays ever written.


To book tickets and find out more information, please do pop into The Witham during opening hours (10am – 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday), head to the cinema page on the website: or call 01833 631107. 



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  • Top-notch Classical Music at The Witham this March +

    On Wednesday 29 March at 7.30pm, the north-east’s premier chamber music ensemble, Royal Northern Sinfonia of Sage Gateshead will be Read More
  • All aboard for The Owl and The Pussycat! +

    Children’s theatre company Kitchen Zoo are bringing their first show, The Owl and The Pussycat, to The Witham in March, Read More
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