What’s on in Northants this September
We've nailed it - food festivals, artisan markets, film and theatre, raging comedy, art happenings and supper clubs... what more could you want in Northants this month?
Queens of the gold lamé body popping suit, Scummy Mummies, aka Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn, are on at The Deco Theatre in Northampton on Thurs 23, if you’re any sort of human, but especially a bedraggled Mum struggling through the daily grind, this is one for you. Pack the Tena Ladies.
The ever-fabulous Royal and Derngate in Northampton have rightfully declared September to be the Month of Laughter and laid on a side-splitting line-up of top-level comedy acts. Kicking off the month are Upfront Comedy Slam on Sun 5, featuring Curtis Walker and Ninia Benjamin. Hot on their heels are supernerd Phil Wang on Sat 11, with Jenny Eclair on Sun 12, Russell Brand on Sun 19, Milton Jones on Tue 21, Simon Amstell on Fri 24, Screaming Blue Murder Comedy Club on Fri 24, Chris Ramsey on Sat 25 and David Baddiel on Mon 27.
And, if your face doesn’t already hurt from laughing, head to the Core at Corby Cube for even more top dollar gags from the likes of Ed Byrne (Fri 10) and Arabella Weir (Sat 25), with Lone Wolf Comedy Club hitting Roman Way Brewery in Weedon on Sun 26 for an evening of cutting edge laughs and, of course, some pretty fantastic drinks.
THEATRE AND FILM
Austen fans, gird your loins for a fabulous fiesta of breeches and ballgowns in an entirely improvised performance from Austenatious at the Royal and Derngate theatre. No two shows are the same and the cast take their cues from the audience to create a brand new “lost” Austen classic for maximum hilarity (Tue 7).
This month, 60 Miles by Road or Rail pulls in to the Royal and Derngate in a hilarious theatrical celebration of all thing Northampton, looking at how our county town arrived where it is today (eek!) and where do we go from here? (Wed 22 – Sat 25).
The Castle Theatre in Wellingborough have a nice juicy bit of Shakespeare lined up for September. Beyond the Horizon bring their dark, industrial production of Macbeth to the stage on Tue 21, and Tue 28 sees a screening of the National Theatre’s new film production of Romeo and Juliet, starring the transcendent Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor.
A classic line-up of movies from Luna Flix continues at Tower Field in Finedon and the majestic grounds of Boughton House. Book your tickets now for a fabulous run of screenings to 18 Sept including cult hit The Lost Boys, The Greatest Showman, Top Gun, Pretty Woman, Moana and loads more.
Head to the glorious grounds of Muddy’s favourite Castle, Rockingham, on Fri 3 and Sat 4 for outdoor screenings of Aladdin and Moulin Rouge. Bring your own folding chairs, blankets and picnic for an evening of starlit cinema.
Northants Open Studios has a whole month of brilliant events, openings and exhibitions taking places throughout September. Artists working in all media invite visitors into their studios to find out how their work is produced. You’ll also be able to catch painting, printmaking and traditional craft demos to get you inspired. Plus, make sure you don’t miss the clutch of fabulous group exhibitions to explore at some of Northamptonshire’s most jaw-dropping venues including Lamport Hall, Delapré Abbey, 78 Derngate and many more. The fun kicks off with a launch party at Jeyes of Earls Barton on Sat 4.
If you love Northampton’s edgy art scene you’ll love Let’s Draw NN at Burns St Studios open studios on Sat 18 and Sun 19. Expect beautiful exhibits, workshops from in-house artists including Abi Jackson (pictured above in her textiles studio – she’s made stage outfits for the likes of Rod Steward and Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics), tours refreshments and loads more. Head to their Instagram for a full run down of happenings.
Art buffs and former pupils of Northampton High School will already be more than familiar with Chris Fiddes’ work – he was head of the school art department for many years as well as a prolific painter and owner of a fine moustache. Challenging Perspectives is a retrospective of Chris’s work at the freshly opened Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.
FOOD AND DRINK
Evenley Wood Garden Supper Club returns on Thur 23 after a string of successful events through the summer. This fairytale woodland setting makes for a magical evening.
Hibiscus Fine Dining, based in the Billiard Room at Delapré, and spearheaded by fab Head Chef Sam Squires, will take over the courtyard on Sun 5 for a gourmet BBQ, serving cocktails, canapés, and their super fancy fare cooked over charcoal.
MARKETS AND FESTIVALS
The Festival of Beer on 3 Sept might not sound like something you G&T sipping darlings might be beating a path to, but it’s got a lot going on besides craft concoctions. There’s afro-funk band Ibibio Sound Machine, New York disco group Odyssey, comedian Milton Jones, yoga, and epic street food to line the stomach. Breweries include Rivington, Bath Ales, Maule Brewing Co., Squawk and more. It’s happening on Blackpit Farm on the Northants/Bucks border near Stowe, and alongside the gorgeous countryside the organisers boast ‘plush toilets and hot showers’. Tickets for the weekend are £79 for adults, £25 for kids. Whoop, whoop, hic!
Pop Up Partners host the Navigating Northants Fair on Sat 4 & Sun 5 at the Uni of Northampton’s Waterside Campus. Head on down for a bite of the best foodie treats and artisan makers Northants has to offer.
Rockingham Castle Artisan Market will take place in the spectacular castle grounds on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 September, showcasing an array of artisan makers and producers.
KIDS AND FAMILY
Can’t stand another round of Tween Pop Hits? Silent Disco is the way to go. Mudlets choose their music, you choose yours, everyone dances. Boogie on down to Northampton Picturedrome in the afternoon on Sun 19 for their first Family Silent Disco of 2021.
Head to Abington Park Museum on Sun 12 for their free Transport Day with displays of vintage cars, heritage vans and buses, emergency services vehicles and racing cars from The Silverstone Experience. And if you can’t get enough of vintage vehicles, head over to Delapré Abbey on the same day for Classics on the Lawn, where you’ll find loads of vintage and classic cars plus plenty of scrummy street food. The Abbey is also free to visit on the day as part of Heritage Open Days, which sees the Abbey doors flung open on 11 & 12, so there is no excuse not to stop by and explore this magnificent chunk of Northampton history.
Here’s one for your furry friends: Evenley Wood Garden‘s Dog Fest takes place on Sun 12. A family event to celebrate woman’s best friend in gorgeous surroundings. There will be obstacle courses, displays, races and a pooch-friendly cafe.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Here at Muddy Towers, we love any excuse to don fancy dress, but when it involves outdoor disco-ing, cocktails AND raising funds for a brilliant local charity in one of our favourite Northants beauty spots, well, we defo can’t resist. Cransley Hospice Starlight Walk takes place in the magnificent grounds of Boughton House on 25 September and you can sign up right here to get involved and raise vital funds to help support those in need of end of life care. There’s a cocktail station, DJ, light show and UV zone and you’re encouraged to get dressed up to the nines – the wackier, the better!
The walled garden at Delapre Abbey will play host to a season of Tai Chi workshops on Wednesday mornings throughout September and October for those looking to establish some balance, perspective or self-development.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to book those panto tickets pronto! Oh yes it is (#sorrynotsorry). Royal and Derngate‘s production of Dick Wittington is set to run from 9 Dec to 2 Jan and stars Albert Square bad boy Ricky Champ as the dastardly King Rat, kid’s TV favourite Phil Gallagher (Cbeebies’ Mister Maker) as the lovable Billy, while Dame Dolly is played by the award-winning Bob Golding (above)