Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre ready to reopen after two-year gap

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Youngsters with a nose for ballet should head for Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre when it opens its doors to spectators for the first time in more than two years next month.

Since its temporary closure in March 2020, the theatre has been used as an NHS vaccine centre to deliver more than 41,000 jabs since December 2020.

On Friday, April 1, the stage will be back in use again when the prestigious Northern Ballet brings its performance of Pinocchio to the theatre.

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Pinocchio is the newest children’s production created by Northern Ballet – an original retelling of the Italian story by Carlo Collodi, a lonely carpenter wishes for his puppet Pinocchio to come to life – and he does.

Harris Beattie and Bruno Serraclara in Northern Ballet's PinnochioHarris Beattie and Bruno Serraclara in Northern Ballet's Pinnochio
Harris Beattie and Bruno Serraclara in Northern Ballet's Pinnochio

This child-friendly 40-minute ballet has been created especially for children aged over three and their families to experience live theatre together.

Councillor Tim Fleming, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult and community based services committee, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we can finally re-open our doors to our audiences, and what better way to launch our new programme than with a performance from the majestic Northern Ballet.

“This show is the perfect opportunity for little ones to enjoy the magic of live ballet, dance and theatre.”

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With a choreographic debut by Northern Ballet’s junior soloist Gavin McCaig, Pinocchio will be performed to music by Ian Stephens, played live by members of Northern Ballet Sinfonia .

Mr McCaig said: “Having premiered Pinocchio in October 2021, I am thrilled the show will now be touring so extensively in 2022.

“Northern Ballet’s children’s ballets have been enchanting families across the UK for several years, creating a truly magical live dance experience for all ages to enjoy together, and it’s both a privilege and a pleasure to be creating for the next generation of audiences and artists.”

Tickets cost for the show – which is being staged at 2pm and 4pm – cost £7 for adults and £5.50 for children.

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This summer will also see the return of professional pantomime when AJ Theatrical Productions brings its summer spectacular The Wizard of Oz to the theatre.

The family-friendly panto will run from Thursday, August 18, to Monday, August 29.

Tickets are due to go on sale shortly. Go to www.hartlepooltownhalltheatre.com for further information.