What’s on in Northants in June
Oh, hello June, you've brought the sunshine and a whole shebang of brilliant happenings across Northants, from live music, theatre and comedy to art, movies, markets and much much more.
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
LIVE THEATRE: Ralph Fiennes in Four Quartets, Royal and Derngate, Northampton, Tues 8 – Sat 12 June
To celebrate the re-opening of live theatre in triumphant style, the perpetually handsome (ok, if you forget that whole Voldemort thing) Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this hotly anticipated new stage adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s moving poetry, addressing the universal themes of faith, spirituality and nature. We’re totally here for Ralph working that serious thespian thing he does so well.
The Core at Corby Cube re-opens Fri 11 June
Re-opening at long last for a host of summer shows, including interactive murder mystery Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote, Pecho Mama’s visceral fringe hit Medea Electronica (pictured) and family friendly Comedy Club 4 Kids and Spontaneous Potter Kidz.
Here Come the Boys, Royal and Derngate, Northampton, Thur 17 June
Yippee, it’s so long since we encountered this level of sequinage that we fear for our eyesight. Don your biggest Jackie-O’s for this sparkly and lavish production. Strictly’s Aljaz, Pasha and Graziano take to the stage alongside a team of dancers plus a World Champion beat boxer. Sounds like a fun night to us!
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Spotlight on Strings and The Music of Bond, Royal and Derngate, Northampton, Wed 16 Jun and Wed 23 June
Real live music performed by real live musicians on stage. I can hardly contain my glee! Suited and booted for two evenings, The RPO strings section will be bringing the thrill of live music back to the stage to perform a selection of classic pieces from Grieg, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, as well as iconic Bond themes accompanied by a full rhythm section and vocalist.
80S in the Park, Wicksteed Open Air Theatre, Kettering, Fri 25 June
Don you ra-ra skirt and and tuck in that jumper, it’s time for an ’80s extravaganza with Billy Ocean, Bananarama, T’Pau, Cutting Crew and Chesney Hawkes all taking to the stage to bust out the bangers and lay the nostalgia on suitably thick.
Songs by the Lake, Culworth House, Sat 26 June
Returning to Culworth House this year, Songs by the Lake will showcase a trio of up and coming bands with a folk-pop vibe: Steady Habits, HUX and The People Versus (pictured). Expect chilled out boutique festival vibes, beautiful views and dancing.
Comedy in the Park, Wicksteed Open Air Theatre, Kettering, Sat 26 June
6 top comedy acts take the mic at Wicksteed for an evening of hilarity later this month. Let your hair down with John Bishop, Al Murray, Rob Becket, James Acaster, Judi Love and Tom Davis. Sounds like exactly what we all need right now.
University College London Chamber Music Club in concert, Lamport Hall, Sat 26 June
Head to Lamport Hall for an evening music in the Victorian Dining Room courtesy of UCL’s Chamber Music Club, followed by a drinks reception on the beautiful terrace. How perfectly civilised overlooking the gardens. Hope they’ll let us in.
Comedy in the Sun with Simon Brodkin, The Old Crown Ashton, Sun 27 June
Pub gardens and side-splitting laughter combined you say? Show us the way! Simon will be gracing the stage in the lovely garden of the Old Crown in Ashton. You’ll defo know him or his daft alter ego Lee Nelson from ont’ telly, or from when he famously handed Teresa May her P45 form whilst she made a speech on stage. Guess it had the desired effect.
Russell Howard’s Respite, Royal and Derngate, Northampton, Mon 28 & Tue 29 June
Back on stage after the massive success of TV shows on Sky and Netflix, Respite is Russell’s global stand-up tour and it’s his biggest one to date. He’s squeezed in two nights at the R&D so catch him while you can and get ready for some belly laughs.
Pleasure Garden, Fermyn Woods Contemporary Art, Deene Park, until September.
We are absolutely loving this exhibition exploring the friction between desire in the natural and human worlds, investigating landscapes, textures and burning questions, all set in the glorious surroundings of Deene Park.
VisualISE , 78 Derngate, Northampton until Sun 18 July
An exhibition of textile art by the Visualise Textile Group harnessing a wide variety of media to create a range of abstract, realist and figurative art using stitch work and drawing particular inspiration from Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his designs at Northampton’s 78 Derngate, the only house in England to be designed by Mackintosh.
Doorstep Diaries, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, until Sun 27 June
We love the sound of this timely exhibition displaying an engagingly human photography project by Stace Photography, which took photos of households across Milton Keynes during the first COVID-19 national lockdown.
Movies by the lake, Stanwick Lakes, various dates throughout June
Nobody puts Baby in a corner! So bring a picnic and spread out on a blanket for another jam-packed summer season of open air, lakeside film fun. This month choose from Dirty Dancing, Moana, Cool Runnings, The Lion King, Forrest Gump and more.
The Filmhouse at Delapré Abbey, until Sun 6 June
Back for another drive-in season of cinematic favourites, take your pick from Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Clueless, Grand Budpaest Hotel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Rocketman, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Frozen and more. With the stunning Abbey as a backdrop and hot food and a bar available on site you can keep the kids happy with folding chairs and blankets or snuggle up for a date night with your beloved.
Pizza and wine evening, Forge Coffee, Culworth, Fri 11 June
Book a table for drinks and pizza from Muddy faves Santina’s Wood Fired Pizza Co, who are popping up at Forge Coffee in Culworth. There’s inside and outside seating, good vibes and Oli and team’s tremendous pizzas.
Northampton Vegan Market, Market Square, Northampton, Sun 20 June
Taking over Northampton’s market square, there’ll be a whopping 50 stalls including a huge variety of vegan fast food, health foods, artisan savouries, sweet bakes, craft cheeses, handmade cosmetics, ethical clothing & jewellery, arts & crafts, plastic-free, and charity stalls. All created by a handpicked selection of talented, ethical and sustainable businesses. Sounds like a pretty satisfying way to spend a Sunday to us.
Bite Street, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton, Fri 11- Sun 13 June and Fri 25- Sun 27 June
With a mega new venue change to Saints ground Franklin’s Gardens, this month’s Bite Street events look set to be their biggest yet. Expect the full gamut of street food vendors, beer, wine and cocktails.
Unwind and Enjoy and Spring Forward From Anxiety retreat days, Lamport Hall, Sat 26 June and Sun 27 June
These outdoor retreat days are a lovely way to allow your mind and body to relax and unwind, particularly after what has been a difficult and stressful year for so many. Take a break to shake off tensions and equip yourself with the tools to stay positive and manage stresses with gentle yoga, meditations and healthy food in the serene grounds of beautiful Lamport Hall.
Sunset yoga at Holdenby House, Sun 20 June
Outdoor yoga as the sun goes down on the picturesque lawn at Holdenby House, perfectly timed to celebrate the solstice. There’s tea and cake afterwards took which is exactly the kind of yoga we like.
OUT AND ABOUT
Record Fair, The Boathouse, Rushden Lakes, Sun 6 June
Garden tour with supper and house tour with cream tea, Deene Park, nr. Corby, Tue 22 June & Wed 30 June
Take your pick from a very special grand tour of the gardens at Deene Park, hosted by Head Gardener Andrew Jones, who’s a goldmine of ideas and inspo, ending at the Old Kitchen Tea Room for supper prepared by the Brudenell family chef; or you could opt for a house tour followed by afternoon tea and potter around the gardens. Then again, book both and imagine you’re Lady of the Manor at your country retreat
Rockingham Castle, opening from Sun 6 June
With the castle itself having been closed through the pandemic, visitors will at last be able to explore inside as well as well as out on Sundays from 6 Jun, with pre-booking essential. Check out the Servants Hall, The Street, Old Kitchen, The Great Hall, Naval Lobby, Panel Room and Long Gallery, where family friend Charles Dickens has performed his plays and if it’s good enough for Charlie…
Thrapston Farmers’ Market pops up in Muddy’s Best Place to Live on Saturday 5 June from 9am to 1pm, offering a huge range of local produce, from fresh fruit and veg to meat and preserves, cakes and treats, fresh-bakes bread, locally made spirits and cider and some well-deserved street food stalls for when you’re all shopped out. Daventry Spring Market comes to the High Street on Sat 12 June for clothing, homewares and foodie treats. Towcester Farmers’ Market will be on Friday 11 June in Richmond Road car park along with the usual variety of brilliant local producers.
KIDS & FAMILY
The Whisper Tree, Becket’s Park, Northampton, until Sat 26 June
A free audio performance that guides you and your children as they take a walk through nature in Becket’s Park in Northampton. Starting out at The Royal and Derngate theatre, you’ll follow a beautifully illustrated map, created by the brilliant Fridge Street, as you’re immersed in the story of Rory and Tilly’s adventure to find the Whisper Tree. You can also book online workshops (available for 7-8 or 9-13 year-olds) to accompany your adventure.
MT Fest at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, 28 June-4 July
Fresh from London’s Turbine Theatre, MT Fest comes to Northampton, bringing all the latest musical theatre along for the ride. Live streamed performances of 8 new musical productions with an emphasis on diversity of stories on stage and the people who make the work.
An Italian Summer online cookery class with Carmela Sereno Hayes and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Sun 13 June
We recently tried Carmela’s risotto workshop and I’ve never eaten risotto so good, so there is no doubt that this brilliant class will add some culinary panache to your repertoire. You’ll learn to make a variety of bruschetta toppings, stuffed savoy cabbage roll and a basil infused panacotta. Perfect for those imminent al fresco evenings entertaining friends and family, all done via Zoom from the comfort of your own kitchen.