DARLINGTON’S Hippodrome Theatre has announced its new line-up following a multi-million pound restoration.

The former Civic Theatre closed last year for an £11.7m revamp including the installation of more seats and improvement to backstage areas to accommodate larger touring shows.

The 18-month project finally comes to an end in November with an opening season line-up including Jimmy Osmond, Peppa Pig, the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia, a production directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, and a chilling new drama, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company.

First to appear on the new stage is Darlington OS performing Strictly Musicals 2, a song and dance show featuring numbers from best-known musicals, including Mamma Mia, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera.

Darlington’s own West End leading lady Zoe Birkett stars in the Hippodrome’s first pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, alongside Lee Ryan, formerly of boy band Blue, which opens in December.

Revel Horwood’s production, Son of a Preacher Man, is lined up for February along with Jimmy Osmond's tribute to singer Andy Williams in Moon River and Me and a ballet trio – Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker – from the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia.

Blood Brothers and an adaptation of David Walliams’ book Awful Auntie follow the West End hit, The Play that Goes Wrong, now being performed on Broadway, has a repeat run in Darlington.

EastEnders actor Phil Daniels will play the title role in a new production of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company. Previous shows brought to Darlington by this leading company include To Sir, With Love, Brassed Off, A View From The Bridge, Brave New World and Of Mice and Men.

Towards the end of the opening season, children's show Peppa Pig returns for a two-night run and an adaptation of the Ruth Rendell classic, Gallowglass, will be staged during Easter Week.

The Hippodrome has been restored externally and inside and a new entrance created. A further £2.9m is being spent on the former fire station next door to turn it into the only specialist children’s theatre north of London. The 150-seat studio theatre and cafe will be called Hullaballoon, and will connect to the Hippodrome.

For information about the reopening season and to book, contact the box office on 01325 405405 or visit darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk.