Today we’ve announced our new Made in Northampton season, featuring eighteen productions. The programme encompasses plays, musicals, a feature film, on-demand theatre, podcasts and a new interactive digital work. Newly announced world premieres including mainstage productions of: Playtime, Unexpected Twist, Wuthering Heights, Henry V and And Then There Were None.
The season opens with the first ever stage production of Jacques Tati’s comic masterpiece Playtime, recently named one of the top films of all time by the BFI. Grammy Award-winning composers Chilly Gonzalez and Martha Wainwright will write original songs for the production which is created by Dancing Brick with comedy direction from Peepolykus’ John Nicholson.
It is followed by a revival of our 2019 production of Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten’s The Two Popes with Anton Lesser and Nicholas Woodeson with original music by Anne Dudley which returns to Northampton as part of a national tour.
Artistic Director James Dacre will reunite with regular collaborators Roy Williams and designer Frankie Bradshaw to direct an adaptation of Michael Rosen’s Unexpected Twist, with original music by Conrad Murray and Yaya Bey, in a co-production with Children’s Theatre Partnership.
We will also launch a digital musical, Scene Unseen, which is an intimate new cabaret about identity, sexuality, and what makes us who we are by Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins, available to watch online in August.
Who Cares 2032 is an interactive digital experience, created by Hydrocracker and DeafConnect , exploring the future of healthcare.
For Christmas we have a magical staging of the 200 year-old festive poem, The Night Before Christmas, for under 7s and their grown-ups in the venue’s Underground Studio.
In spring 2023, Inspector Sands bring their characteristic humour, passion and pathos to the infamous love story of Heathcliff and Catherine, when Wuthering Heights takes to the Royal stage in April, in collaboration with China Plate. Channelling Emily Brontë’s piercing wit and fierce emotion, this new production will feature exhilarating music, high winds and plenty of mud!
Following collaborations on King John and Richard III, Royal & Derngate partners again with Shakespeare’s Globe and Headlong for Henry V, directed by Holly Race Roughan, exploring our nation’s history and what it means to be British (on-sale soon).
A reimagining of the best-selling crime novel of all time, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, will open in September 2023 on the Derngate stage. Reuniting the creative team behind the smash-hit Love From A Stranger, director Lucy Bailey (Gaslight, Witness For The Prosecution) returns with UK Theatre Award-winning designer Mike Britton (A Tale of Two Cities). A co-production with Fiery Angel, it will tour the UK after opening in Northampton.
Meanwhile, the venue’s commitment to Northampton-rooted work remains strong with Song of the Summer, written and directed by Tristan Jackson-Pate and co-produced by Cherwell Theatre Company, set in Northampton and created in collaboration with local communities. The production takes place at iconic music venue The Picturedrome this August.
This Autumn, the venue’s annual GenFest will feature a programme of new work onstage, in development and online. The year’s Generate artists include Chris Lowe, Scott Bradley, Jo Blake-Cave, Sampson Hawkins, Under the Bed, Ryan Leder and Lauren Nicole Whitter. Meanwhile, the venue is working with Butshilo Nleya, Carlota Matos and Tina Hofman in a collaboration with Projekt Europa called Projekt Elevate to develop original co-created work with local communities.
The season also sees UK tours for several of last year’s Made in Northampton productions. These will include our acclaimed productions of The Wellspring by Barney Norris and David Owen Norris, An Improbable Musical, Mog The Forgetful Cat adapted by The Wardrobe Ensemble and Told by an Idiot’s Charlie and Stan.
The Royal & Derngate and Theatre Royal Bath co-production of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, performed by Ralph Fiennes with designs by Hildegard Bechtler is being adapted by Sophie Fiennes for cinema release. The Selfish Giant will be available on Audible with music by Three-time BRIT Award-winning Guy Chambers and featuring readings by Stephen Fry, Joseph Marcell, Giles Terera, Sharon D Clarke, Roger Allam and Patricia Routledge. Dates are to be confirmed for both releases.
The Made in Northampton season is sponsored locally by Michael Jones Jewellers.