Promo: New season 2022/23 announcement at Royal and Derngate Northampton

A great season at Royal & Derngate for autumn and beyond, including The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Playtime and pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk

Through the autumn to Christmas and beyond, Royal & Derngate brings a busy programme of drama, musicals, comedy, music, dance and family entertainment to Northampton.

A bumper crop of musicals are touring to Northampton, starting in October with the critically acclaimed 2019 production The Color Purple, the musical adapted from Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and the dazzling West End hit Dreamgirls in November. In January, The Cher Show tells the story of the iconic singer’s meteoric rise to fame, while Broadway sensation Jersey Boys returns in March, celebrating the life and music of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons. Meanwhile, well-loved local group Northampton Musical Theatre Company present Calendar Girls The Musical this November.

Newly announced for the Made in Northampton drama season this autumn, Royal & Derngate’s resident ensemble company Dancing Brick adapt Jacques Tati’s iconic film, the glorious Parisian comedy, Playtime for the stage this September. Then, in October, Anthony McCarten’s (Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything) gripping and entertaining play The Two Popes, directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director James Dacre, will return to Royal & Derngate for a week as part of a major tour, having premiered here in 2019 under the title of The Pope before being adapted into the multi-award-winning film The Two Popes. Highlights for spring 2023 include an adaptation by Roy Williams of Michael Rosen’s children’s story Unexpected Twist, a retelling of the Dickens classic Oliver Twist, and a new version of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, created by acclaimed theatre company Inspector Sands.

Meanwhile, a brand new gig theatre piece Song of the Summer, written by Tristan Jackson-Pate and co-produced by Cherwell Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate, will take place at the iconic Northampton music venue The Picturedrome this August. This coming of age comedy drama features a talented youth ensemble of local young people alongside professional actor-musicians.

Two exciting Made in Northampton digital productions are launched in the coming months. An intimate new cabaret captured on film, Jessica Walker and Joseph AtkinsScene Unseen is a cutting edge musical about identity, sexuality, and what makes us who we are and will be available to watch online this August. Who Cares 2032 is an interactive digital experience, with narration, film, audio and integrated BSL and audio description, developed by Hydrocracker with DeafConnect, with the involvement of members of the local community.

Visiting drama productions include Agatha Christie classic The Mirror Crack’d, coming to the Royal stage in the autumn, starring Susie Blake, Sophie Ward and Joe McFadden. In the New Year, audiences can look forward to Richard Harris’s award-winning comedy about an unlikely group of adult dancers, Stepping Out, with a cast including Rita Simons and Hayley Tamaddon, and a new stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In spring 2023, acclaimed dance company Rambert bring their exciting new dance theatre event The Peaky Blinders – The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, and Varna International Ballet present three ballet classics, Giselle, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Highlights of a top class comedy programme include Dawn French, Al Murray, Paul Chowdhry, Harry Hill and Sara Pascoe, with more intimate gigs on the Royal stage from Jamali Maddix, Maisie Adam and Chris McAusland, along with musical comedy duo Flo and Joan.

The season features music from a host of top artists including concerts from Level 42, 10cc and Kim Wilde, and the folk icon, singer-songwriter Ralph McTell. Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel performs Songs & Arias, and classical singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson perform a Christmas concert. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra returns in the new year with a stirring evening of music from the movies.

Other events for the autumn include the return of the multi-award-winning master of mind control and psychological illusion, Derren Brown, for a week in October, and evenings with rugby legend Martin Bayfield and ‘Queen of History’ Lucy Worsley.

Looking ahead to Christmas, this year’s spectacular family pantomime is the hilarious, fun-filled Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Keala Settle (from the blockbuster movie The Greatest Showman) along with Horrible HistoriesRichard David-Caine, and Bob Golding returning as Dame Trott. Meanwhile in the Underground Studio, under 7s and their families can enjoy The Night Before Christmas. This popular festive poem bursts into life in a magical production, presented in collaboration with Polka Theatre.

For more information about any of these events, call Box Office on 01604 624811, or visit the theatre’s website, www.royalandderngate.co.uk. 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.

* A charge of £3.50 applies for all transactions of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

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