Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Don't be Afraid of the Dark

Last week I went on a torch-lit tour of Middlesbrough Town Hall! It was part of a wider festival called Don't be Afraid of the Dark. The festival itself wasn't all that but the tour was well worth waiting for. Which was a good job really as it didn't start until 11pm! 

I've been to the Town Hall heaps of times, mainly to see bands and comedians. It's a brilliant venue but I've never seen it from this perspective before. For starters, it was in darkness (kind of obvious really for a torch-lit tour) but also because we got to go on the stage! Where all those famous faces have stamped their feet and sang out loud - it was so cool to see it through their eyes. I tried to imagine a massive crowd of people all jumping up and down and singing along (it's my inner rock star) as I listened to the history of the building. It was pretty good timing actually as it's about to close down for two years and undergo a huge refurbishment, opening up areas that are currently not accessible to the public and removing all the boarding from the beautiful windows. 

As well as the stage, the tour took us to the dressing room (and the toilet where Pete Docherty allegedly got up to some naughty business), the carriage street, the old courtroom and the cells! I never even knew those things were there. The old courtroom was so cool. It's currently offices (excellent place to work!) but it's still set out exactly the same way with the raised platform for the judge, and all the seats marked as to who sat where; the old kitchen is even there as after it was a courtroom it became the canteen for council staff. So many interesting things to see and all by torchlight. Heaps of fun! And for £2 it was a total bargain to boot. 

Chatting to organisers at the end, they plan to have the festival at different times next year which will hopefully improve it. But I'm really glad I stayed up way past my bedtime to visit the Town Hall - well worth the wait! 

Middlesbrough Town Hall in the dark, dark night! 

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