During the third national lockdown, Darlington’s cabaret bar The Stage Door is hosting a series of free online events. It starts this month with a Valentine’s Day concert starring Singer of the Lakes, streamed via its Facebook page on Sunday 14 February at 7pm.

The Stage Door is part of Stage and Screen Productions, a production company in Darlington; the venue is in ‘The Yards’ of Darlington town centre and opened its doors in Spring 2020 just as the Covid pandemic began. Michael Fenwick owns the business and said: “The plan pre-Covid was to have a cultural hub in the town centre. We have the bar and cafe and wanted to use the venue as an educational centre as well, holding workshops upstairs and starting an adult choir.”

As rules were relaxed in Summer 2020, local artists including Claire Willmer and Marina Gears entertained with a Perspex screen dividing the performer and the audience. These small performances were warmly received but Michael explained “unfortunately the bigger events we had planned had to be cancelled. There was no way around it.”

When asked about his plans for re-opening, Michael said he is expecting safety measures to remain in place to ensure customer confidence. He added: “I think Covid will be around for a while yet and we’ll have to adapt to a new normal.

“We really want to promote local artists through The Stage Door, although it will be online for now.”

  • Visit the venue’s Facebook page for further information