Page 1

Curtain Call preview

A Tale

of Two Cities



Latest News


Oliver Mort


Saviours s

n o i t c u d ro P t a e r fG o h t n o AM



Museum teams N

with Derngate

orthampton’s leading cultural venues, The museum and Art Gallery and The Royal and Derngate have been awarded £73,200 from the Heritage Lottery fund to stage an eighteen month project commemorating world war one. This project will be the first time these

venues have worked closely as a team and they are set to feature a huge variety of the art and cultural events of Northampton dating around the 1914 to 1918 conflict. Dani Parr, the Royal and Derngate’s associate director said “it will be exciting to work closely with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on an exciting and innovative programme of events.” She went on to say that they’ll be getting the community involved in many ways, working with people of all ages, to explore how the First World War affected the lives of the people in Northamptonshire and make sure those memories live on.” The activities are set to run from now until the middle of April 2015. Beginning this month with film screenings and theatre productions at The Royal and Derngate theatre along with talks, workshops, researching family history sessions and an exhibition opening at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in August, dubbed ‘A Shoemaker Goes to War’. Vanessa Harbar, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands added: “This is an exciting project that will engage lots of local people and volunteers in telling Northampton’s story within the national commemoration of the First World War centenary.” Commemorating such a devastating time in history it has sparked a national debate - should we celebrate such a difficult and dark time? Although along with the commemorations we benefit with a flurry of dramatic gems and reconstructions of the period, and as a community we are able to grasp the opportunity to get a wider and deeper understanding of the period and become more culturally aware. However it is important that we can appreciate the work that our ancestors here in Northampton contributed to the war. As ever, we here at Curtain Call are interested to hear what you think about this matter. You can email us with your queries and thoughts at and we will make sure we get your thoughts in our next issue.



Best Buys

Audition saviours Natural Remedies

What’s on?

Give us more! See them live


orthampton’s own Royal and Derngate have brought out their new scheme in which it aims to bring cheaper tickets to young people and students. We at CC love this idea as we think its refreshing that theatre is becoming more accessible to the younger generations. To grab your chance to claim cheap tickets simply call the Box Office on 01604 624811. You’ll be asked for a few details including your contact address, phone number, email address and, of course, your date of birth. You’ll then be registered as a member of the Real Discounts Scheme. Alternatively you can email and provide these details.


uring this time of the year when the common cold is most prevalent it is important to keep a clear voice and remain prepared for the tons of auditions that will fill your schedule. Here are some of the most popular choices which will find a permanent spot in the bottom of your bag as we begin the audition season.

Included in the real discounts are:

Russell Kane - £5 Ticket

This time of year is brimming with exciting treats for the whole family. Whether you are looking for something local with your family or you are after a romantic weekend in the capital, there is plenty to whet your appetite!

Moscow Stare Circus - £5 Ticket

These hit stage productions are in London for a limited time only - make sure you catch them while you can:

A Tale Of Two Cities - Free Ticket Vocalzone has been one of the most popular throat lozenges in to be found in performers medicine kits for many years. The small lozenge works to lubricate vocal chords restoring them to their normal state. These are essential for the audition period.

Blood Brothers - £5 Ticket Every Last Trick - Free Ticket

Black Elderberry Sambucol is a little known cold and flu remedy that has been used for decades. It is believed that the Black Elderberry has antiviral properties, and it has been used to treat colds and flus for years by both native peoples and herbalists alike. In 2004, a study showed that 93% of flu patients given the extract were completely symptom free within two days.

Dealer’s Choice - Free Ticket Fiddler On The Roof - £10 Ticket Let It Be - £5 Ticket Play That Goes Wrong - £5 Ticket One Man Two Guvnors - £5 Ticket Regeneration - Free Ticket Cat On A Hot Tin Roof - Free Ticket Merlin - Free Ticket

CC Kiss of approval


Performers will understand the difficulty of open auditions, a time in which it can be most important to keep your cool and control the tension that can be heard in your voice. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a handy, handbag sized, herbal remedy which works to settle nerves without any lasting drowsiness or dizziness. These are essential for the more nervous performers amongst us.

Peter Pan - Free Ticket

The Book of Mormon - Tickets from £60 It’s rude, irreverent and definitely NOT for the easily offended. Introducing The Book of Mormon, which has made the long-rumoured transfer to London’s West End at last! War Horse - Tickets £19 War Horse is a triumph in superbly skilled puppetry as well as one of the most moving tales told on the West End stage for years. Children and adults alike revel in this heartwrenching, war-torn tale of a young man’s love for his horse. The Lion King - Tickets £32.50 The Lion King, the multi-award winning musical, continues to wow audiences night after night with amazing puppets and stage sets, a heart-warming story line, incredible choreography and a musical score that hits the mark every time. Matilda - Tickets £29.50 Matilda is the captivating musical masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.


Dickens’ masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities is a rich and brilliant tableau C

harles Dickens’ literary masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities comes to the Royal Derngate theatre in Northampton as part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season. The world premiere of a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities, graces Northampton bringing an epic story of love and Dickens considered his novel, A Tale Of Two Cities, Dickens considered his novel, A Tale Of Two Cities “the best story I have ever written.” Interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution, it is an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events. The first of new Artistic Director James Dacre’s productions to be seen in Northampton, this epic theatrical

event takes to the Royal stage from Friday 21 February to Saturday 15 March. If you are one for period drama, a vivid mixture of emotion, and an appreciation for the complexity of war and revolt make sure that you get down to the Royal and Derngate to catch this world premiere of such an awe striking performance. A Tale of Two cities was professionally executed, the talent and sincerity of each individual cast member resulted in the whole piece being moving and emotive. The mood of the piece was effectively presented, the audience was transported to a place in which is devastated by war, conquering even love. The sets, whilst reasonably simple added to the validity of the piece transporting the audience to eighteenth century Paris and London.

The transition between scenes were quick and professional with Mike Britton’s swiftly shifting set - imposing walls, arresting vistas - often incorporated into the action on the stage adding to the physicality of the drama. As well as a stirring sound track from Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman lending the drama a cinematic quality, this fast, fluid evening distils the novel’s tumultuous essence. Before we’re even whisked off to Revolutionary Paris, there’s already a marked feeling of events spiralling out of the control of ordinary, decent citizens. And Dacre had The relationships between characters was expertly portrayed, again allowing the audience to become surrounded by the myriad of emotion and amplitude the depth of each emotion. Joshua Silver played Charles Darnay and his performance was particularly moving, as the

awful events unfold we see, through the accuracy of performance, the downfall of the character in all aspects of life. Complimenting Silver’s performance was the equally talented Oliver Dimsdale complement each other perfectly: divided by temperament, united by a common humanity. Although the costumes and attitudes are periodfaithful – down to the fastidious deportment of the odious Marquis St Evrémonde’s servants – Dacre understands well that Dickens wanted to hold a mirror up to his own age. Grasping the work’s enduring moral – that if you aren’t capable of putting yourself in other people’s shoes, you’re a monster – the piece also chimes with our own times.

Cast in court, photos courtesy of Robert Day

A day in the life...

Oliver Mort :


“Work hard, play hard”

econd year Acting student, Ollie Mort talks to Curtain Call about his day to day life in the school of the arts at The University of Northampton.

always this students friendship, attitude and performances which first gave Ollie the courage to pursue this career. “The last time I walked on to the stage as Galileo, and I heard the rapture of applause from the audience was the experience that has resonated with me the most.” Ollie told us

the response he got from the audience each night made all of his work so worth it. We wanted to know what the Acting course at the University of Northampton is like so we asked Ollie to describe a typical day at the uni. He told us that he has to get up “I’ve just sort of always at 7.30 for breakfast and take known I wanted to be the 20 minute walk on stage”, Ollie told Oliver Mort up to university for a us that he had always physical warm up for known that he wanted 8.30 am. After the to be active. Singing physical warm up the and dancing has always actors then have to been a passion of his split up in to groups to and as he became more either go for the vocal confident he decided warm up, or to warm to give it a try. After up ‘your character’. going to college at one The actors group of Leicestershire’s most together and take on notorious performing a new character, they arts school, Hind Leys have to put themselves he was given the in to a scenario and chance to first delve in respond to everyday to the world of theatre issues completely as and he admits that he their character. At 11, most definitely caught the actors then have a the bug. Ollie decided lecture for one of their that he would choose to modules for example, study performing arts at Post modern Theatre. A Level and from then These are usually two on he has never looked hours long and then back. the actors are released Ollie told us for lunch. After lunch that he is a huge fan they have 3 hours of of Michael Ball, “I spare studio time, to remember hearing his rehearse for upcoming voice for the first time Alisdair Tait Photography assignments and and being physically performances they moved. My hairs stood on that his favourite role that he have. Depending on their work end and a shiver tingled down has ever played was Galileo in load the actors are then able to my spine.” Ollie’s parents are the hit musical ‘We Will Rock leave or take more studio time particular theatre goers and You’, he says that he found the to prepare for performances. We introduced him to the eighties role extremely challenging as asked Ollie to give his advice to original cast recording of Les the role is created for a tenor, up and coming acting students, Miserables in which Michael Ball Ollie was able to reach the notes he said its important to commit played Marius. His performance but required vocal training to yourself to the art form, nothing was one which attracted Ollie to make his voice stronger and comes easily, “work hard, play the stage to try it himself. Ollie more capable of holding the hard!” Ollie is due to be in the told us that it was partly Michael notes powerfully. However end of term performance at Ball and partly an older student he says despite the work, it the university, catch him for at Hind Leys who inspired him was immensely rewarding and yourself! to take this path in life. It was




Blood Brothers

Car park scrapped P

Blood Brothers

for accommodation

comes to town

lans to move the university campus to the riverside in time for 2018 have uprooted an issue for the royal and derngate and therefore avid theatre goers. Plans to demolish the current car park just outside of the theatre in an effort to make room for new university accommodation have just been revealed and many regular theatre enthusiasts have expressed there displeasure. Mr. Bailey, a member of the Royal Derngate for six years has been parking his car in the car park ever since he started watching shows there. He says he “has no idea where the majority of cars will park” and the added difficulty will make actually going to the theatre “hard work and off putting”. He raises a valid point, with less car parking spaces, the hunt for the few remaining ones will become stressful and difficult for the theatre going public. The Royal and Derngate have also expressed an issue with this proposal claiming that this added pressure of parking and arriving early enough to find a space will dispel people from the venue, Edward Boyce, the Executive assistant at the Royal and Derngate told us that she was


using the space as it will decrease the accessibility of the venue resulting an a loss of custom and ultimately a disappointing reception for the artists who perform at the venue.” On top of the added stress of finding a spot, the regular public of the theatre are worried that having a student accommodation so close to the performance spaces will create far too much noise pollution. Typically students become noisy around the hours of seven to eleven - the exact time in which performances would take place. The Royal and Derngate have assured their customers that there will be no issue with noise pollution, as they have developed contingency plans for the issue. One final issue is the fact that students will be surrounding the venue. Older generations may worry that students may cause trouble to them as they are leaving the venue after they have been to watch a performance. Others have seen the positive side to this, possibly in living so close to the theatre and having such opportunity and experience on their door step this may encourage more students and young people to want to delve in to the world of theatre - or at least watch a few of the performances! We at Curtain Call are interested to know what you think about this matter. Do you think that the accommodation on the site will affect the venue? Or do you believe that this may well be a good thing for the up and coming theatre world? You can email your thoughts to us at and we will put your opinions in our next issue.


aving studied Willy Russel’s multi award wining play Blood Brother’s I had always been inspired to see it on the stage. I was overjoyed to see it come to our local theatre, The Royal and Derngate.

The story is a contemporary nature and nurture plot, revolving around fraternal twins who were separated at birth. The twins’ different backgrounds take them to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming a councillor and the other unemployed and in prison. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a tear in their friendship and leading to the tragic deaths of both brothers. The poignant scenes in the play are amplified by the talent of the actors on the stage who each shone. The vocal talents of each actor was astounding, with every note the narrator sang, shivers raced down my spine. The set was effective and powerful yet relatively simplistic, but I was immediately transported to the middle of Liverpool in the 80’s.

This musical provides a roller coaster of emotion for the audience, ranging from happiness and elation as we laugh along with the children, who are not influenced by class, to the dark depths of Mickey’s psyche as he grows in to a man, affected by the inequality of Liverpool and the class system in the 80’s. Sean Jones who played Mickey was extremely powerful, he made us laugh as a child but it was his switch in character as he played the adult Mickey, a slow, clinically depressed man reliant on pills, which was so moving. It is painful for an audience to witness the devastation and destruction of a character that we had so grown to love. There is a warmth about Russell’s writing and the music of the show that makes the audience care about the characters so the final scene becomes even more gut-wrenching. I always judge a performance by its ability to make me feel. It is fair to say that no matter how I tried to hold in my sobs, my tears streamed down my cheeks in the final scene. The power of this production was astounding.


Rose Lucas curtain call  
Rose Lucas curtain call