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Royal and Derngate Launch New Season

The brilliant Royal and Derngate in Northampton has launched its 2023 summer brochure with a programme of shows and events that'll delight audiences.

With the Derngate auditorium celebrating its 40th anniversary Royal and Derngate bring a wide range of programming including dramas, musicals, comedy, dance, family entertainment and more. 

The co-production of Henry V between the venue, Shakespeare's Globe and Headlong with Leeds Playhouse concludes its run on Saturday 18th March. The Made in Northampton season continues on the Royal stage with a fresh new take on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (24th April - 6th May) which is re-imaged by acclaimed theatre company Inspector Sands. Director Lucy Bailey helms a new production of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (8th - 16th September) running on the Derngate stage ahead of a major national tour. The season includes the launch of Who Cares 2032, an interactive digital experience with narration, film, audio and integrated BSL and audio description developed by Hydrocracker with DeafConnect, with the involvement of local artists. 

Wuthering Heights.

For fans of musicals the venue hosts touring productions including the Jersey Boys (21st March - 1st April), The Commitments (10th - 15th April), the official Take That musical Greatest Days (2nd - 7th October), Shrek The Musical (10th - 15th October) and smash hit Six The Musical (28th November - 2nd December). Everybody’s Talking About Jamie returns in 2024 (18th - 23rd March 2024).

There’s plenty of drama to be enjoyed ahead including Northern Broadside’s production of J M Barrie’s regency comedy Quality Street (4th - 8th April), journey to India with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (9th - 13th May) and Rifco Theatre Company’s comic family drama Happy Birthday Sunita (6th - 10th June).

Quality Street

Further ahead shows for the autumn include Original Theatre Company's production of Murder in the Dark (16th - 21st October) and in 2024 the 70th Anniversary tour of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap (12th - 17th February 2024) brings murder mystery to Northampton with West End shows 2:22 A Ghost Story (5th - 13th January 2024) and Life of Pi (15th - 20th July 2024).

For the dance enthusiasts, the rising stars of Birmingham Royal Ballet launch the inaugural tour of BRB2 with Carlos Acosta's Classical Selection (25th April) as part of an exciting new partnership between the company and Royal and Derngate. Fans of Strictly Come Dancing will be able to see stars of the television across the season with An Evening with Anton Du Beke (21st April), Firedance with Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez (13th March), Nadiya and Kai - Once Upon a Time (22nd April) and Johannes Radabe - Freedom Unleashed (22nd May).

There's a new orchestral season launched starting with Sinfonia Viva performing Beethoven's Symphony Number 3 "Eroica" (7th July) and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (29th September). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs three different evenings, the first celebrating the music of James Bond (20th October), Elgar's Enigma Variations (24th November) and Dvorak's Symphony Number 9 'From the New World' (25th February 2024). The National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Tommy Blaize perform an evening of Ray Charles (3rd April). 

BRB2 - Mailene Katoch and Jack Easton - Photo by  Drew Tommons

Concerts in the season include The Bootleg Beatles (18th March), Mike and the Mechanics (30th April), Rumours of Fleetwood Mac (16th April), Midge Ure - Voice and Visions (23rd May), The Proclaimers (26th May) and Jools Holland (10th November).

The comedy line-up includes gigs in Derngate auditorium by Jimmy Carr (19th May), Jasper Carrott, and Alastair McGowan (15th May), Tim Vine (21st September), with Hal Cruttenden (10th May), Tom Houghton (1st April and 30th June) performing in the Royal, and Emmanuel Sonubi (23rd April) and Lucy Porter (29th April) in Underground.

This May Royal and Derngate collaborates with BBC Radio Northampton again to present Headfest ’23, a festival of talks, workshops and comedy, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, which will include performances by comedians Simon Brodkin (11th May), Hal Cruttenden (10th May), Joe Tracini (9th May) and Richard Hardisty (12th May), and the presenters of the High Performance podcast, Jake Humphrey and Professor Damian Hughes (7th May).

Other events this summer include appearances by wildlife presenter Gordon Buchanan (4th April), adventurer Ben Fogle (17th May), cultural satirist Fran Lebowitz (18th April), best-selling author Kate Mosse (5th April), royal historian Tracy Borman (21st May) and journalist and TV presenter Stacey Dooley (4th June). Jonathan Agnew and Glenn McGrath present Test Match Special Live – The Ashes (17th April) and Dick & Dom revive their hit TV show Da Bungalow live on stage (28th April).

Dinosaur World

Family shows coming up include children’s favourites such as The Tiger Who Came to Tea (2nd - 4th June), Zog (29th June - 1st July) and Twirlywoos Live (22nd - 25th march), and a beautiful new adaptation of The Wind in the Willows (8th April). There will also be chances for intrepid young explorers to experience Dinosaur World Live (6th - 8th April) and Dragons and Mythical Beasts (14th and 15th June). Looking ahead to Christmas, tickets are already on sale for this year’s pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (8th - 31st December) in Derngate auditorium, with Stick Man (7th - 31st December) taking the festive slot on the Royal stage.

Showcasing home-grown talent, Royal and Derngate’s Youth Theatre and Young Company present The Big Top Murders (7th and 8th July) and The Actors Company stage The Three Musketeers (14th and 15th July), while Royal and Derngate Community Choir perform Windrush 75 (21st and 22nd July), a poignant new piece celebrating the positive impact of Windrush in the county and nationally. This autumn Northampton Musical Theatre Company will present Kinky Boots The Musical (24th - 28th October).

For more information about any of these events, call Box Office on 01604 624811, or visit the theatre’s website, Information about creative activities and projects, including youth theatre classes, can be found in the Get Involved section of the website. 

The Made in Northampton season is sponsored by Michael Jones Jewellers.

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