Audiences are invited to celebrate International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March) at a special event held at Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

The event is being hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon, and will see inspirational talks from guest speakers including author and film documentary maker Marie Gardiner; Teesdale hill farmer Anna Wood and general manager of Newcastle Utilita Arena Caroline James.

International Women's Day, Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Sue Snowdon, Marie Gardiner, Anna Wood, Caroline James, Dressing Room No.1, She Shall Be Called Woman, Sophie Teasdale, Elaine Vizor
Marie Gardiner

Following the speakers, audiences will be invited to visit two new exhibitions in the venue’s galleries – Dressing Room No.1 and She Shall Be Called Woman.

Displayed in the venue’s main gallery, photographer Sophie Teasdale presents a world that audiences rarely get to see in Dressing Room No.1 – the backstage of the theatre.

Born and raised in Bishop Auckland, for over a decade Sophie has photographed actors and musicians in the safe haven of their dressing rooms, from local North East venues to London’s West End, with the aim to capture that golden moment somewhere between real life and the bright lights of the stage.

She Shall Be Called Woman, to be displayed in the venue’s Strong Room gallery space, is a body of work that celebrates women by photographer Elaine Vizor and author Marie Gardiner.

Elaine’s photographs span a decade, showing contemporary and environmental portraiture of females in different roles and landscapes. Marie’s accompanying soundscape features hear the voices of some of those appearing in the images and the authentic sounds of the Durham Dales.

Both exhibitions will be open to the public from Saturday 2 March to Saturday 1 June.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said:

“We are really pleased to welcome these exhibitions and to hear from some incredibly successful women from such varied backgrounds. We hope this event will prove thought-provoking and inspiring and we look forward to welcoming the amazing work of many more talented women in the future.” 

The event runs from 10am to 12.15pm with tickets costing £3.50 and can be purchased by calling the venue’s box office on 03000 269 524 or online at

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