THERE’S an exciting line up of events to look forward to in the new spring season at Royal & Derngate. The venue continues to generate new productions by some of the country’s greatest writers.
This season starts with Daphne du Maurier’s The Years Between, a new adaptation of George Grossmith’s Diary of a Nobody, and Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love.
It’s also presenting a wide range of comedy, music, dance, drama and family entertainment, with highlights including the new West End show, Yes, Prime Minister, the much-loved musical, Annie, top comedians ranging from Sarah Millican to Russell Kane, the mind-bending Derren Brown and the best of British contemporary dance from Rambert Dance Company.
The first three drama productions explore married life in three different eras.
One of only two original plays written by Daphne du Maurier (best known for her novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn), The Years Between – a West End hit in 1945 – is a forgotten gem. Set in the 1940s it follows the fortunes of MP’s wife Diana Wentworth, and her young son, after her husband is lost in action in World War II.
Diary of a Nobody stars Robert Daws (best known as Dr Gordon Ormerod in ITV’s The Royal) as Charles Pooter, a very ordinary middle-class clerk in Victorian London with social aspirations far beyond his status. This hilarious comedy of manners sees four male actors uproariously recreate the trials and tribulations of Pooter’s monotonous marriage and daily grind.
Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love is a sharply witty and profoundly touching play about a middle-aged couple’s efforts at dealing with the complexities of human relationships against the backdrop of the shifting political scene of the 1970s.
Hamlet! The Musical is given its first large-scale professional production after becoming a cult hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and artistic director Laurie Sansom will be at the helm for JB Priestley’s Eden End. Visiting drama for the spring and summer months includes Corrie!, the new comedy play celebrating 50 golden years of Britain’s longest running soap. Love, Love, Love takes on the baby boomer generation, following one couple’s forty-year journey from initial burst to full bloom and West End hit Yes, Prime Minister, created by the writers of the classic BBC TV series, also comes to Northampton this June.
There’s also Annie, starring the hilarious Su Pollard (Peggy from Hi De Hi) as the gin-soaked Miss Hannigan; the spectacular Michael Jackson show, Thriller Live and the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q For more information about the season or to book, call the box office on 01604 624811 or go the theatre’s website www.royalandderngate.co.uk.