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What’s On in Northants this October?

It's all treat and no trick in Northants this month, thanks to a bumper autumn harvest of things to do. From boundary-pushing exhibits to rib-tickling theatre, Muddy knows what's good.

MUDDYS PICK OF THE MONTH

Winter Dip by Chris Palmer
Winter Dip by Chris Palmer at the Heseltine Gallery

Making a splash this month, Muddy Award Winners the Heseltine Gallery in Middleton Cheney have re-opened post-Covid with a stunning new photography exhibition, Royal Photographic Society: Visual Art Group, showcasing a broad range of traditional and contemporary styles and featuring 114 photographic prints.

STAGE & SCREEN

Divinia de Campo chicago

Sinitta, Darren Day and star of Ru Paul’s Drag Race Divina de Campo (above) grace the stage at Royal and Derngate for one week only in hit musical Chicago from 4-9 Oct for some seriously sassy sequins, high kicks and all that jazz.

He’s been chased by Trump’s bodyguards and handed Teresa May her p45 live on stage, but prankster Simon Brodkin will be at the R&D on 16 Oct and the Core at Corby Cube on 30 Oct to try to get to the root of why trouble follows him wherever he goes. Or does he make the trouble…? (Rehetorical question).

Frank Skinner‘s Showbiz tour is back in Northampton on 19 Oct at the Royal and Derngate for a follow-up to the sell-out 2019 show, shortly followed on 22 Oct by Rob Beckett’s Wallop.

Loosen your girdles, ladies, the story of Britain’s first female majority council gets the theatrical treatment at Core at Corby Cube on 8-9 Oct in the stage play Petticoat Council with modern folk music, dance & storytelling. Maybe we should be taking some inspo..?

FOOD & DRINK

Bite Street is back at The County Ground on 15-17 Oct for ever-popular street food pop-up. There’s table service and a huge array of world food.

spooky cocktails muddled lime

Fancy a night on the tiles? Hows about swankjy cocktails and amazing tapas by two of the best in the biz? Muddled Lime Fine Cocktails and Pohutukawa have joined forces to perk up every Thurs, Fri and Sat evening. And the best bit? It’s 2-4-1 cocktails 6-7pm! Book your table asap! Then, make sure you head to Silverstone Distillery for their Halloween Bar Takeover With Muddled Lime on 23 Oct for an evening of dramatic cocktails using the distillery’s spooky spirits AND be sure to book your place on their special Halloween Gin School on 30 Oct. You can find out more about the Gin School by reading our review.

FASHION

THACKERAYS WOMAN

Fashion stylist Janine Coney of Own Your Style has joined forces with Thackeray’s Woman in Northampton for an epic evening of fun, fashion and fizz on 13 Oct. Sounds right up our Wellingborough Road. Find out about the latest trends and must have pieces of the season, get styling tips and try on the latest must-have pieces. Book your tickets here.

OUT AND ABOUT

thenford arboretum northants
Scultpure by Dame Elizabeth Frink at Thenford Arboretum

Lord Heseltine doesn’t often open his rather grand garden gates at Thenford to the public but when he does it’s a must-see for any green fingered art enthusiast. There are 2 open days scheduled for this month on 16 & 22 Oct and, if jaw-dropping gardens and sculpture (and very tasty cakes) are your thing, you will definitely not be disappointed.

Lamport Hall Antiques and Vintage Fair takes place in the stable yard on 16 & 17 Oct with furniture, books, pictures, jewellery and loads more, plus refreshments from Sauls of Spratton to keep your shopping energy levels up.

Jane Austen fan? Well of course, who hasn’t been rewatching Greg Wise smoulder in Sense and Sensibility since he took to the Strictly studio? (Come on, not just me, right?) Head to Lamport again on 30 Oct for Jane Austen at Home, an evening celebrating Austen’s writing and wit in this beautiful setting.

Boughton House gardens and parkland will open for one last day of the season on 17 Oct  in aid of the National Garden Scheme. The landscaping at Boughton is as impressive as anywhere. Reminiscent of Versailles, with incredible water features and sculpture, you can reward yourself with a scrumptious cake in the stables tea room.

KIDS & FAMILY

pumpkin season

Pumpkin season’s in full swing and there are plenty of patches to take your pick from around the county. Head to Saxby’s in Farndish for PYO from 16-31 Oct. The cidery bar will be open for the grown-ups and there’ll be an apple launching trebuchet to fire apples at pumpkin targets. Could get messy. Wappenham Farm have PYO pumpkins and a Halloween trail. Book daytime tickets or go along in the evening for an extra spooky experience, when you can also enjoy evening meals – saves on cooking: we’re sold. Welford Christmas Tree Farm have pumpkin picking, a spooky pumpkin hunt and a tipi cafe serving drinks and cakes and Forge Coffee in Culworth will hold an evening of pumpkin carving on 31 Oct.

Kettering Park Hotel are set to host a fancy dress Spooktacular Kids’ Afternoon Tea on 29 Oct with themed games, a mini disco, scary movie and popcorn. There’s lots of Halloween fun planned at The Reading Tree bookshop in Weedon for half term week 23-31 Oct, Including spooky story times, treasure hunts, arts and crafts. Rockingham Castle will open for Halloween fun on 19-21 Oct and 26-28 Oct. There’ll be a trail around the gardens, pumpkin rolling and a Wizard’s Afternoon Tea.

And if you’re still seeking some troll action after all that lot, Shrek The Musical is on stage at the R&D from 26-30 Oct, performed by the brilliant Northampton Musical Theatre Company and a proper feel-good production for all ages.

FURTHER AFIELD

Circus City, Bristol

Ooh, stepping out of county for a change? Go on, why not. Here are few things worth leaving home for:

THEATRE: The Shark is Broken9 Oct – 15 Jan at Ambassadors Theatre, London’s West End. This new comedy play (on stage one year later than planned, no prizes for guessing why) takes the audience to Cape Cod in 1974, and the making of Jaws. The mechanical shark has stopped working, and the lead actors are getting cranky. Reviews so far are rave.

FESTIVAL: London Literature FestivalSouthbank Centre21-31 Oct. This year, the acclaimed annual festival looks at friendship. We like the sound of Grayson Perry: A Show for Normal People, 22-23 Oct.

EXHIBITION: From 9 Oct – 20 Feb 2022 there’s a big new exhibition on at the MK Gallery:Laura Knight, A Panoramic View. Exploring one of the most popular English artists of the twentieth century, this charts the long, unconventional, and ground-breaking career of the female painter Laura Knight. There will be displays of rare works, as well as her more iconic pieces.

Then, Nero: the man behind the mythBritish Museum, is on until 24 Oct. A ‘thrilling’ exhibition that questions the traditional narrative of Nero, one of Rome’s most infamous rulers, as a ruthless tyrant.

PERFORMANCECircus City, various venues across Bristol, from now until 16 Oct. Think you ‘get’ circus? Ooh, boy: there’s a whole world of contemporary circus out there, and this biennial circus celebration shows it all off.

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