Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Royal and Derngate, Northampton w/c 2nd November


Young America

Two exciting tales of youth and passion from the masters of American drama

Following on from the success of this summer's critically acclaimed Ayckbourn at 70 season, this autumn Royal & Derngate presents gripping tales of youthful passion and thwarted hopes with two early masterpieces of 20th Century American drama in its Young America season. An exciting young cast – including Life on Mars star Liz White – brings to life Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon and Tennessee Williams' Spring Storm, the latter a European Premiere. With the two plays performed in rotation by the same company of actors, the Young America season runs from Friday 9 October to Saturday 14 November.

Beyond the Horizon, by Eugene O’Neill, is considered by many to be the first modern American tragedy. Robert is about to start a new life across the ocean while his brother Andrew looks forward to settling down on the family farm. The realisation that they love the same woman results in them swapping lives and changing forever the path of the Mayo family, in a powerful story of youthful dreams crashing into reality and the human spirit being tested almost beyond endurance. This was the first of O’Neill’s plays to be professionally produced, and a sensation on Broadway when first seen in 1920, earning him a Pulitzer Prize. It enjoyed a successful run in the West End, but has been largely forgotten since.

Tennessee WilliamsSpring Storm was written when he was a playwriting student at Iowa University, and was re-discovered among his papers in 1999. Set in a Mississippi town full of small-minded gossips and young people brimming with life, it follows the tale of the beautiful and charming Heavenly and her host of young male admirers. When forced to make a decision between her handsome and wild lover, Dick, and the seemingly respectable and sensitive Arthur, they are all caught up in a storm
that threatens to tear their lives apart. This autumn's production at Royal & Derngate will be the first time the play has been staged outside America.

Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, directs the season, and has assembled a talented young cast. In both productions Liz White, who is best known as Annie in BBC TV’s Life on Mars, plays the central female role, with handsome young actors Michael Malarkey (in his professional debut) and Michael Thomson taking on the roles of rival lovers, in two contrasting tales of tangled passions.

Laurie says, “The Young America season is exceptional – two plays that have rarely or never been seen before in Britain, by playwrights who would go on to write masterpieces of the American theatre.  Both plays are characteristic of youth – they revolve around the dreams and passions of young people trying to find their way in life, against the backdrop of an early twentieth century America that is a melting pot of idealism and social tension.”

Beyond the Horizon and Spring Storm can be seen as part of the Young America season which opens on Friday 9 October and runs until Saturday 14 November. Tickets are on sale now priced from £27 to £11, and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at The two plays are being performed in rotation, giving the opportunity to see both plays in one day on certain dates. For more details of dates and times visit the theatre’s website or call the Box Office.

For the Shows own theatre pages click the following links:

  1. Beyond The Horizon
  2.  Spring Storm

Inspiring musical Evita comes to town

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece Evita is touring the UK through 2009 and sweeps into Northampton’s Royal & Derngate for two weeks this autumn, from Monday 2 November to Saturday 14 November.

With more than 20 major awards to its credit, including the Oscar winning film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, and featuring one of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, this brand new production of the smash hit show truly promises to be the theatrical event of the year!

West End performer Rachael Wooding plays the role of the extraordinary Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, who, from young and ambitious beginnings, gained enormous wealth and power during her ultimate rise to virtual sainthood.  Rachael’s West End musical theatre credits include her role as Amber Von Tussel in the multi-award-winning show Hairspray, We Will Rock You and Saturday Night Fever as well her UK and national tour credits of Footloose, Starlight Express and Cats.

Joining Rachael on stage in the role of Che is Seamus Cullen, popular finalist from the hit BBC TV programme Any Dream Will Do, and playing the part of Juan Peron is Mark Heenehan, whose film credits include The Road to Damascus, Spy Game and Thunderpants.

Featuring some of the most famous and inspiring stage music ever written, including the classic songs Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, Oh What A Circus, Another Suitcase in Another Hall and High Flying Adored, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s extraordinary show Evita is a must-see for all fans of music and theatre.

This passionate and thrilling production of Evita takes to the Derngate stage from 2 November to 14 November (no performances on Sunday), with evening shows at 7.30pm and matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets – priced from £36 to £14 – can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at

Direct booking page:


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