Reasons to Love Northampton

I decided to take this show on the road last Friday and headed down to the Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton town centre.

If you live in Northampton, you can’t not know about the Royal & Derngate but for those unaware of what I’m talking about, I shall tell you!


The Royal theatre was designed by Victorian architect C J Phipps. It is a very intimate theatre withy a real feel of grandeur and occasion. It houses smaller productions that are often created in Northampton itself. A trip to the Royal makes for a great time.

Compare that to the more modern, spacious Derngate, who’s larger auditorium suits productions with greater acoustics. It was built nearly 100 years later in 1983. If you’re going to see the likes of Derren Brown or The Sylistics, you’ll be heading to the Derngate. Derngate

Spurred by the Arts Council in England the separate entities of the Royal & Derngate decided to join forces. They had each applied to for Lottery Funding and it was suggested that they may profit from a merge which they completed in 1999.

The results are pretty stunning and I believe that Northampton has one of, if not the best theatrical facility outside of London. But R&D don’t only provide for Northampton’s amusement inside their luxurious complex.

They are behind Alive @ Delapre, three open air concerts at Delapre Abbey from 19th – 21st July 2013. Headliners announced so far are Mod Father and soulful legend Paul Weller and local talent singer songwriter James Morrison. Bring on the summer I say.

I’ll keep you updated on who’s announced as the final headliner.

UPDATE: London band The Toys will be supporting Mr Weller and the Saturday concert will be headlined by boy band The Wanted, supported by Lawson. It’s a man’s world ey?

So what’s occurring?

I went to a networking event at the Abington Street Library which was aimed at those starting up a business. I heard about it through training I’ve been doing with the Library Plus and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), which you’ll have heard about before in my blog.

There were plenty of organisations to help advise on the various aspects of starting a business and it gave me another great opportunity to network.

I specially got chatting to a lady from Creative Northants which supports freelancers from Northamptonshire in creative industries. We got chatting about life in Northampton from the architecture to services and about what I’m doing with the business.

I advised her that I was going down to the Royal & Derngate to blog mentioning that I had some ideas that I’d to discuss with the theatres. She gave a wry smiled, agreeing that my ideas sounded interesting and informing me that she’s on the Management Board for the theatres.

“It’s about who you know, not what you know” and to a certain degree I concur! In my opinion it’s about getting yourself out and about, meeting new people and telling them what you’re about. When you do this, things happen.

Smelly Boy seems to have summed it up beautifully: “If you don’t go, you don’t know!”. I love a good cliché and it’s very true. We all have those days when we can’t be bothered but it’s often worth it.

Made In Northamptonshire shop

I was also advised of Made In Northamptonshire, an initiative between Creative Northants, the University of Northampton and Northampton Town Centre BID to promote the great things about the county of Northamptonshire. There is the Made In Northamptonshire shop in St Giles street which showcases the work of Northampton’s talent and gives us lucky public an opportunity to buy some of their wares.

I spoke with yet another lovely lady from the shop (which had a lovely welcome feel to it, along with a small gallery upstairs) and plan to provide you with an interview in the not too distant future.

She recommended that I also have a chat with the very artistic ladies from NN Contemporary Art Northampton so off I trotted after filming the clip above. I was even lucky enough to have a sneak peak around their new Number Nine premises. Hopefully another interview for your delectation will be arranged tout suite!

It was a good day all round really, especially welcome after a relatively lack lustre few days. So if the urge takes you, have a look at the links and check out what’s going on around Northampton, just for amusement or if you’re local and looking to start a business.

Hopefully you’re having an amazing weekend and due for a fab week!



About Kerry Leese

20 something who loves to travel from Northampton embarking on a journey of self discovery. Ambitiously working towards a career in broadcasting. In love with her Smelly Boy and getting up to some random stuff.
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