Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Youth Theatre in the Big Give Christmas Challenge!

Double your donations for Youth Theatre in the Big Give Christmas Challenge

Following on from the success of raising nearly £7,000 in last year’s Big Give, Royal & Derngate is one of only a few organisations in Northamptonshire to have been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge for 2011. A nationwide scheme which unlocks £1 of matched funding for every £1 that the theatre raises, the Big Give Christmas Challenge takes place from Monday 5 to Friday 9th December. During this week the theatre aims to raise £8,000 towards Youth Theatre bursaries.

Royal & Derngate works with over 300 young people a week and its Youth Theatre provides an inspiring and creative opportunity for young people in Northampton to become engaged with the arts through weekly training sessions and regular productions, also helping to improve their confidence, social and communication skills at the same time.

Donations from the Big Give will help to cover the cost of Youth Theatre Bursaries for young people whose families would otherwise struggle to pay the membership fees of £55 a term and for whom financial hardship is a barrier to attendance. The funds will also pay for a series of outreach community workshops aimed at encouraging people from more diverse backgrounds to join the Youth Theatre.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation has given a generous pledge of £2,000, and the theatre needs to raise a matching £2,000 during the challenge week to release this money. If this target is reached, the theatre also has a fantastic opportunity to unlock additional bonus funding from the Big Give’s external sponsor doubling the public donations, meaning all donations could be worth twice their original value.

Donations of any size are very welcome and each £1 given unlocks another £1 of matched funding. Donations can be made online at from 10am on Monday 5 December.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Christmas season 2011 at Royal & Derngate Northampton

Alice In Wonderland

Join Alice for some wonderfully silly adventures in Wonderland this Christmas

Northampton’s Royal & Derngate will be transformed into a topsy-turvy wonderland for all the family when this year’s Christmas show takes to the Royal stage. Following on from the success of last year’s production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the theatre presents another well-loved children’s classic – a brand new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – from 30 November to 8 January.

Join Alice on a wonderfully silly journey as she encounters all the favourite characters from the classic tale, from the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Duchess and the March Hare, taking part in crazy tea parties and incomprehensible croquet games. Providing an array of madcap entertainment for the bad-tempered Queen of Hearts, who celebrates her birthday every day, these weird and wonderful characters will delight audiences of all ages. With the zany world of Wonderland spilling out from the auditorium into the theatre’s foyer areas, this will be a truly magical theatre-going experience.

This hilarious new take on the timeless tale has been written by Phil Porter, who is known for his play Starseeker. Phil’s delightful adaptation of Hansel and Gretel has also been seen in both Northampton and Corby in recent years.

Joining forces to direct the Christmas show this year are Royal & Derngate’s Artistic Director Laurie Sansom, who directed The Wizard of Oz for Christmas 2008, and Associate Director Dani Parr, whose past productions include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and 101 Dalmatians.

With live music, crazy antics and giggles galore – and plenty of opportunities to join in the fun – this hilarious new take on the timeless tale is the perfect festive treat for all the family. The show runs from Wednesday 30 November to Sunday 8 January and tickets are priced from £9 to £21, with concessions, groups and schools rates are available. To check times or to book, call Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit

Down the Rabbit Hole

Journey down the rabbit hole in an interactive storytelling event for under 5s

Following the sell-out success of last year’s magical Through the Wardrobe, Royal & Derngate will take young audiences to an exciting new world as they go Down the Rabbit Hole in an interactive storytime event for under 5s and their adults. A companion piece to Royal & Derngate’s Christmas show Alice in Wonderland, Down the Rabbit Hole takes place from Tuesday 6 December to Sunday 8 January in the theatre’s Underground performance space, which is transformed with an enchanting and topsy turvy installation.

Journey down the rabbit hole with Alice to join the Mad Hatter at his tea party and explore a mad-cap world where almost anything can happen! Housed in Underground this curiouser and curiouser experience is a marvellous introduction for the very young to Lewis Carroll’s hilarious tale.

Royal & Derngate has a well-earned reputation for being at the forefront in creating engaging and entertaining interactive shows for younger children to enjoy with their families, with past successes including Knitwits, Minibreak, Wish Wash and the recent larger-scale hit, Flathampton.

The magical experience of Down the Rabbit Hole can be enjoyed at Royal & Derngate from Tuesday 6 December to Sunday 8 January, with performances at various times through the day. Tickets are just £5 each. To check times and to book tickets, call the Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit


A star-studded cast takes the stage in Aladdin at Royal & Derngate this Christmas!

This Christmas Royal & Derngate will stage a spectacular and unmissable production of Aladdin with a superb cast led by one of the UK’s funniest and best-known celebrity comedians Bobby Davro, together with the multi-talented dancer, choreographer and performer Brian Fortuna, veteran performer Jeffrey Holland, and icon of children’s television, Basil Brush!

Taking the role of Wishee Washee in Aladdin, Bobby Davro is a man of many talents; comedian, impressionist, game-show host and actor. His Saturday night series Bobby Davro on The Box made him a household name. Bobby has also presented a number of game shows, such as Winner Takes All. Recent appearances have included Dancing on Ice, and the role of loveable rogue Vinnie Monks in EastEnders.

Brian Fortuna, making his panto debut as Aladdin in Northampton, is best known for his astonishingly skilled performances on two series of Strictly Come Dancing. He was also lead choreographer on the ground-breaking BBC3 show Dancing on Wheels, pairing disabled and able-bodied contestants. He has been principal dancer in the two US tours of Dancing With The Stars, as well as appearing in The Aviator with Leonardo Di Caprio.

Joining Brian and Bobby on stage will be the well-loved actor Jeffrey Holland in the role of Widow Twankey, in his 40th season of pantomime. As well as his numerous stage appearances, Jeffrey is well known from classic hit TV series Hi de Hi, You Rang M’Lord and Oh Dr Beeching. Aladdin also stars television favourite and the world’s most famous fox, Basil Brush, in the role of Chief Inspector Basil - Boom, Boom! 

Staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer, Aladdin is packed with all of the traditional panto ingredients including an abundance of comedy, a fabulous flying carpet, stunning sets and beautiful costumes, and has the Royal & Derngate’s hallmark of outstanding value for money entertainment for all ages. With prices held from last year, new groups rates and concession rates available at more performances, there has never been at better time to enjoy a pantomime at Royal & Derngate.

Aladdin runs from Friday 9 December 2011 to Sunday 8 January 2012. 
Tickets can be booked on 01604 624811 or online at

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Aladdin star Brian Fortuna to turn on Xmas lights

Strictly Come
 Dancing’s Brian Fortuna

Characters from Royal & Derngate’s Christmas productions will be helping to launch the festivities in Northampton town centre this Saturday (26 November), culminating with a special appearance by Basil Brush and with Strictly Coming Dancing’s Brian Fortuna switching on the lights in the Market Square around 5pm.

There is a double dose of Wonderland at Royal & Derngate this Christmas, with a wonderfully silly new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland on the Royal stage from 30 November and an interactive introduction to the story, for under 5s, Down the Rabbit Hole, staged in the theatre’s Underground space, amidst a topsy turvy tea party installation, from 6 December. The Mad Hatter and Alice from Down the Rabbit Hole, will be out about in the town centre on Saturday, to spread a little Wonderland fun, and will be taking to the stage in the Market Square around 4.15pm to meet the crowds and talk about the two shows.

Brian Fortuna will be starring in the spectacular pantomime Aladdin at Royal & Derngate from 9 December to 8 January. The multi-talented dancer, choreographer and performer will be coming to town on Saturday to help get everyone into the festive mood and switch on the 14,000 lights decorating the huge 60 foot tree in the Market Square at the end of the afternoon. Also joining in the celebrations will be children’s TV icon Basil Brush, the country’s best-loved fox, who plays Chief Inspector Basil in the pantomime. Later in the evening Brian will also be one of the judges at the Strictly Northampton fundraising dance event at Royal & Derngate, organised by the Chronicle & Echo, BBC Radio Northampton, Barclaycard and Step by Step Dance School.

Come and join in the fun in Northampton Market Square on Saturday afternoon. For more information about the Christmas shows and pantomime at Royal & Derngate visit 
or call Box Office on 01604 624811. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011



Leisure & Culture  
 updates about arts, culture and leisure in Northampton.
  An update to you every two months including offers, news updates and links to what's going on at the Museums, Forum Cinema, Leisure Centres and other arts and cultural facilities in the Northampton.  

Forum Cinema Cover Dec-Jan 2012        Forum Cinema 
The very best of cultural and main stream film from around the world

See the best in world cinema at the Forum Cinema
Click the image of the brochure for the New Dec/Jan Film guide  or
for more information visit the Forum Cinema 
Cultural and Foreign films include The Awakening, The Rum Diary, Romantics Anonymous, Sherlock Holmes 2, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Iron Lady and My Week with Marilyn. 

Trilogy Promo Dec to Jan 2012

Trilogy Health & Fitness


Join Trilogy before Jan 31st and get FREE cinema at the Forum Cinema and FREE off peak racquet sports for the whole of 2012.

Applicable to the following Supergold memberships 
Supergold Single  £32.00 per month
Supergold Joint    £27.50 per person per month

For more information or to Join Online visit 


Christmas Holiday Brochure

Christmas Holiday Activities and Pool Timetable

Exciting activities over the Christmas Holidays include 

  • Swimming Lesson Crash Courses
  • Holiday Play Schemes 8.30am to 5.30pm weekdays
  • Wet n Wild
  • 2 hour fun activities every afternoon at Danes Camp
Download Brochure here includes Christmas opening times

Junior Active Membership

 NEW Junior Active Direct Debit


  • Swimming Lessons or Gymnastics or Trampolining or Gym Minis for Pre-School or Badminton 
  • Free Swimming, Free Cinema Free Off Peak Racquet Sports - Badminton, Squash and Table Tennis, Free Soft Play at Danes Camp, Free Special Swim sessions for 8 to 15s Wet'n'Wild and Disco Splash, Free Gym and Classes for 14 to 16 years, Free Leisure Card
Only £19.95 per month
Splash Path

New Pool timetable format now available in an easy to use online application 

Northampton Leisure Trust has teamed up with Splash Path to keep our pool timetables on-line 
  • Check Pool Timetables
  • Improve your swimming
  • Set challenges i.e. Swim the Thames 
  • Add favourite pools
  • Also available as an App
See new timetables format hereor
Join Splash Path here


Funzone Supervised Holiday Playschemes

An additional Funzone is being planned for 30 November in case of National Teachers strike
Christmas Holiday Play Scheme
Fully Supervised playscheme at Lings Forum for 5 to 8 years and 9 to 13 years 

Extra Funzone planned for Teacher Training Day 3rd January 2012

For more information click here.

Free parking

Free car parking in time for Christmas

Free parking on Sundays in the run up to Christmas and reduced charges in the week
Free Parking in Northampton

Image of the Fish Market

The Fish Market

What's on at the Fish Market Gallery and Nook Cafe 
 78 Derngate Website  

78 Derngate - The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries

78 Derngate is an important and award-winning historic house set in the heart of Northampton. 
In addition to the regular museum exhibits, 78 Derngate hosts a programme of exhibitions and events.
For more information click here 



Swimming Lessons - It's never too late to learn

Junior Active Membership only £19.95 per month 

  • Free General Swimming
  • Free Cinema
  • Free Off Peak Racquet Sports
  • Free Wet'nWild and Disco Splash
  • Free Soft play at Danes Camp
  • Free Gym and Classes (14 years +)
for more information visit Trilogy Swim School 

Museum Whats On leaflet     

Northampton Museums

To find out what's on at Northampton Museums and Art Gallery and Abington Park Museum - please click here   

Christmas Banner

Friday, 18 November 2011


Bradshaw Street, Northampton, NN1 2HL, Tel: 01604639090

1-31 December 2011
The Open Exhibition is the final exhibition of the year and also the final
exhibition in the Fishmarket Gallery's current building before it is demolished
as part of the town centre's redevelopment.
The Open Exhibition was selected by Anthony Spira, director of MK Gallery
and Darren Banks, an artist based in Northamptonshire who had a solo
exhibition at Fishmarket in May. Over a hundred works were submitted and the
judges selected work by artists young and old, local and further afield,
students, amateurs and professionals.
“It has been a pleasure to head the panel of judges for Fishmarket’s Open
Exhibition this year. It was great to see such a diverse range of
applicants for what promises to be an enjoyable final exhibition.”
Anthony Spira
“Having ended up in Northampton almost by accident my husband and I
have put down roots and stayed largely because of Fishmarket and the
Bradshaw Street, Northampton, NN1 2HL, Tel: 01604639090
unpretentious, community-based appreciation and promotion of the arts it
Ellen Clifford
“It's an honour to be included in the final Fishmarket exhibition. I've
always admired their dedication towards arts and culture in Northampton
and feel their contribution has been invaluable. It will be a proud moment
to see my work on display and I hope the Fishmarket will continue to
support the arts in Northamptonshire long after the venue has changed.”
Verity Milligan
Participants: Ikran Abdulle, Nicholas Allen, Gudny Bjarnadottir, Ashley Brayson, Mark
Bowden, Dan Brodie, David Brown, Michelle Brown, Rebecca Brown, Charlie
Bullingham, Peter Bullivant, Sue Clegg, Collette Corkery, Barnaby Darling, Eliza
Devanny, Christian Doyle, Joanna Fursman, Diana Garrila, Sophie Greswell, Faye
Grimwood, Daniel Goodman, Kate Harrison, Julia Harrold, Sarah Heron, Iain
Hodgkinson, Nathan Jones & Bex Crockett, Holly Kemish, Maja Kowalski-Skierska,
Natacha Lachowski, Joe Martin, Alexandra McKell, Verity Milligan, Gary Mills, Jack
Morris, John Nicholls, Sonia Raymond, Suzanna Raymond, Jamie Shaw, James
Tebbutt, Simon Yexley
The Nook:
Blues in the Afternoon
26 November, 17 December, 2-4pm
Vixens Late Night Craft Fair
15 December, 7-10:30pm
Folk in the Afternoon
10 December, 2-4pm
Bradshaw Street, Northampton, NN1 2HL, Tel: 01604639090
Artists’ Crit Group
17 December 2-4pm

Friday, 11 November 2011

Inspiration FM Community Radio for Northampton

On July  2010 Inspiration FM Multi-Cultural Community Radio Station went on air with a new 5 year Community Radio License, but did you know it took many years to get to where IFM is today!

In 1996  Inspiration FM had successfully completed fifteen 28 days Restricted Service Licenses, this was to satisfy the radio licensing authority that there was a need for new service to the local community of Northampton.

So it was hard work from day one, and the rest, so they say is history!

Producing top shows for the community is voluntary from all presenters and behind the scenes staff at IFM.   would you  like to volunteer?

  Would you like to sponsor a show Etc ?  this would help with the running cost of this much needed community radio station. then please click the link below for IFM's main website.

Mark Dean & Nigel Brown of the Breakfast Show
 weekdays from 7.00 am to 9.00 am 

Station Sponsors
Inspiration FM is supported by,

Supported by Northampton Borough Council, Sonic 5, JCA Public Relations, BBC Radio Northampton 104.2 & 103.6 FM, Msaada, Martin Ariel & Jared, The National Lottery, Northamptonshire County Council, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation
The National Lottery Northamptonshire County Council West Northamptonshire Development Corporation
Bluepoint Synology Digital Switchover Help Scheme

Programme Sponsors
Zebadee's Cafebar - Sheep Street, Northampton, next-door to Inspiration FM (sponsors of the Breakfast and Mid-Morning shows)
Rock Bottom Discount Stores - 2 Ashburnham Road, Northampton (sponsors of Traffic & Travel)

JP Digital - call 01604 591818
EGO - Balfour Road, Northampton
Jackson's M.O.T. Centre - Westbridge Depot, St. James Mill Road, Northampton
The Eye Clinic Opticians - Gold Street, Northampton

Links related