Autumn/ winter at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate sees a strong drama season, a cornucopia of comics and a pair of stellar Christmas shows.
The Made In Northampton season continues with the world première of the stage adaptation of First World War novel Regeneration.
The Booker-nominated novel has been adapted for the stage by Olivier Award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright (His Dark Materials, Vincent In Brixton).
It forms the centrepiece to a wide range of cultural events planned as part of the theatre’s collaboration with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery to commemorate Northampton’s contribution to the war.
Directed by former Royal & Derngate Associate Director Simon Goodwin (who is off to the National Theatre to direct Ralph Fiennes in Man And Superman next year), Regeneration is a co-production with Touring Consortium Theatre Company.
There is a new staging of the Tennessee Williams’ classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
Royal & Derngate’s artistic director James Dacre takes the helm for this powerful family drama set in the stifling heat of the Deep South plantations.
MOJO and Q Award-winning band White Lies provide an original score and Mariah Gale, fresh from leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will play the iconic role of Maggie.
Cat is a co-production with Newcastle’s Northern Stage and Manchester’s Royal Exchange.
Complementing its Made In Northampton programme, the Royal auditorium also plays host to some of the very best touring drama.
For one night only, Simon Callow presents his fresh and moving account of biblical stories, The Man Jesus and the moving and fantastically funny Eric And Little Ern returns by popular demand, for two performances.
Coming for a week in October is the new Tim Firth award-winning musical comedy, This Is My Family.
In Derngate auditorium there is the National Theatre’s smash hit One Man, Two Guvnors, starring EastEnders’ Shaun Williamson and Emma Barton, alongside Gavin Spokes (Mr Toad in Royal & Derngate’s The Wind In The Willows last Christmas).
There is also the sensational new stage version of The Full Monty, adapted by the Oscar-winning writer of the film, Simon Beaufoy, and starring Gary Lucy and Andrew Dunn.
Looking ahead to next year, tickets are on sale for another acclaimed National Theatre hit, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time, as it comes to Northampton on its very first tour.
They are followed by a festive production of Merlin for the Royal stage, a magical new take of the legend.
This new production, by Ella Hickson, who wrote the RSC’s Christmas show Wendy And Peter Pan last year, will combine exquisite storytelling with atmospheric original music to convey the magic, mythology and wonder of the ancient Arthurian legends.
In Derngate auditorium, Joe Pasquale stars in the swashbuckling family pantomime Peter Pan.
This enchanting tale of pirates, crocodiles, lost boys and fairies is brought to life by the hilarious Joe Pasquale and the outrageous Ceri Dupree.
The season includes music from Lisa Stansfield, Jools Holland and Marc Almond, and Bellowhead, and features the start of the new Orchestral Season including the return of the Annual Malcolm Arnold Festival.
There is a strong season of comedy to come with top comedians taking to both the Derngate and Royal stages, including Lee Mack, Alan Davies, Mark Steel and Pete Firman.
The pick of touring musicals and drama range from weeklong runs of blockbuster shows The Full Monty and the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors to Simon Callow’s The Man Jesus for one night only in the Royal.
Looking ahead to 2015, tickets have also gone on sale for Derren Brown, Jesus Christ Superstar and Anton and Erin.
Musicals expected at the venue are Dreamboats And Miniskirts, Oklahoma! and a stunning new production Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
For full listings visit the theatre’s website, www.royalandderngate.co.uk.