History of the Hipp

History of the Hipp

Darlington Hippodrome has a rich and interesting history; the Edwardian theatre has been a key part of the town's heritage. We have commissioned seven videos that bring this history to life in a way that's entertaining and educational for children and adults alike.

Actor credit:

Twitter: @allthehistory
Instagram: @allthehistoryevents
YouTube 'Histrionics-All the History



Episode 1

A chat with a coach driver

A hackney carriage driver shares his opinions about the newly built Hippodrome Theatre. 

He talks about the transport available at the time, including the train station, cyclists, and who (and what) you may share your journey with. As well a travel, this video covers businesses at the time and how the town centre was transformed by the new theatre.

Download Episode 1's Question Sheet


Download Episode 1's Answer Sheet


Travelling to the Hipp Wordsearch


Travelling to the Hipp Wordsearch Answers



Episode 2

An interview with the audience

We have a chat with two audience members - one from the upper class and one from the working class - to see their opinion on the shows at the Hippodrome, as well as how their experiences differed.

This video covers how different social classes experienced the theatre, local pubs and hotels at the time, the ticketing system, variety performances, and the impressive Titanic water show.

Download Episode 2's Question Sheet


Download Episode 2's Answer Sheet


Visiting the Hippodrome Wordsearch


Visiting the Hippodrome Wordsearch Answers




Episode 3

A talk with Signor Pepi

Signor Rino Pepi wasn't just the founder of Darlington Hippodrome, but also a protean actor who performed in front of Queen Victoria herself.

Signor Pepi has a lot to share in this video, including a bit about his life, his early career, and his role later on in the theatre.

Download Episode 3's Question Sheet


Download Episode 3's Answer Sheet


Signor Pepi Wordsearch


Signor Pepi Wordsearch Answers




Episode 4

Hearing from the performers

The Hippodrome has played host to a variety of performers, including Pepi himself. We talk to a few of them and hear their stories.

Featuring interactive activities and a rundown on the many types of shows in the Hippodrome. 

Download Episode 4's Question Sheet


Download Episode 4's Answer Sheet


Performing at the Hipp Wordsearch


Performing at the Hipp Wordsearch Answers




Episode 5

Meeting the staff of the Hippodrome

While the actors were the stars of the show, the theatre staff were the ones keeping things running smoothly. There were plenty of jobs in the theatre, as well as plenty of ghosts! 

This video covers the different roles in the Hippodrome, the unfortunate death and funeral of Pepi, the rise of cinema, the effects of World War II, competition from new media, and the eventual closure of the theatre.

Download Episode 5's Question Sheet


Download Episode 5's Answer Sheet


Working at the Hippodrome Wordsearch


Working at the Hippodrome Answers




Episode 6

A chat with a cabby from the 70s

Despite closing in the 50s, the Hippodrome would reopen under the name 'Darlington Civic Theatre'. We hear from a taxi driver about the theatre's journey through the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.

This episode features the Darlington Operatic Society, Darlington Council's involvement in the theatre, the renovation in the 90s, and some of the famous celebrities we've had on our stage.

Download Episode 6's Question Sheet


Download Episode 6's Answer Sheet


Reopening the Hippodrome Wordsearch


Reopening the Hippodrome Wordsearch Answers




Episode 7

A full history of the theatre with Signor Pepi

Signor Pepi shares his full life story, and the story of the Hippodrome itself. 

Download Episode 7's Question Sheet


Download Episode 6's Answer Sheet


The Life of Signor Pepi Wordsearch


The Life of Signor Pepi Wordsearch Answers