Only about an hour from London via London Euston, Northampton’s Royal &Derngate has an enviable reputation in producing new and exciting theatrical events. Building on that success, new Artistic Director James Dacre has announced details of his first Made In Northampton season, bringing together some of the country’s most brilliant theatre-makers, from playwrights and composers to puppeteers, photojournalists and rock musicians, to create original, wide ranging and vividly imaginative productions. With new commissions that include both original plays and adaptations, the theatre will be staging old stories in powerful new ways and telling stories that have never been told before.
The season starts with A Tale Of Two Cities which sees Mike Poulton transform Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece into an epic theatrical event set to rousing original music by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman. A comic marvel from the master of French farce, Georges Feydeau, Every Last Trick is an ingenious look at the game of infidelity and marriage, given fresh life by playwright Tamsin Oglesby. It is directed by Paul Hunter and unites the comic talents of leading theatre companies Spymonkey and Told By An Idiot for the very first time. As Britain commemorates the centenary of the start of the First World War, Pat Barker’s haunting Booker-nominated novel Regeneration is adapted by Olivier Award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright. Set at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, in 1917, the play follows poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon who has been institutionalised in an attempt to undermine his public disapproval of the war.
Also next autumn James Dacre will direct one of the stage’s most seductive evocations of the Deep South, Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer prize-winning Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, in a co-production with Northern Stage, Newcastle and Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
For Christmas 2014 on the Royal stage, Ella Hickson will take on the legends of Merlin, in a co-production with the Nuffield. An enchanting family play with original folk music that combines extraordinary adventures, mythical creatures, magic and romance, Merlin draws on some of Britain’s most ancient stories.
Royal &Derngate is also developing an original play with BAFTA Award-winning playwright Roy Williams and also a new musical version of Sue Townsend’s beloved novel The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, with Leicester’s Curve.
For more information about any of the Made In Northampton productions visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk. Individual shows can be booked online or by calling Box Office on 01604 624811.