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What’s on in Northants this August

No summer holiday booked? No problem. We've got exhibitions, theatre, side-splitting comedy, thumping music nights and more right here in Northants this month.

MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH

THEATRE: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Royal and Derngate, 2-7 August

Priscilla royal amd derngate northampton

Fancy a summer roadtrip through the aussie outback? Sequins and feathers at the ready. Priscilla is back and kicking off a glittering new UK tour at the R&D this month. Brace yourself for joyous belly laughs and as much feel-good factor as you can handle.

COMEDY

Diane Spencer

New event space Elliots Rectory Farm will stage Comedy on the Farm, an evening of stand-up on Sat 14 Aug. Patrick Monahan headlines, supported by Nathan Caton and Diane Spencer (that’s Diane, not Diana).

Forge Coffee in Culworth are hosting their first ever stand up comedy night on Thurs 19 Aug, with a line-up including Josh Pugh, Hannah Silvester, Andy Gleeks and Ryan Mold, with beer, wine, coffee and treats being served.

EXHIBITIONS

Chris Fiddes
Photo by Chris Woodcock

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.

Elsewhere, at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes there’s a kitsch-cool exhibition Memphis: Plastic Field on the Italian design and architecture group, The Memphis Group. If you’re feeling a little lost, never fear. Here’s your 101: Rebelling against the grey and merlot tones of 1970s interiors, The Memphis Group’s USP was bright colours, bold shapes, and unusual textures. The exhibition, which first ran briefly in December but had to stop for lockdown, displays over 150 of the design collective’s most significant objects (exhibition extended until 12 Sept). Over the bank holiday the gallery will also be hosting a Memphis-inspired family day including a silent disco (expect 80s bops with different channels for adults and kids), interactive Laughing Lollies installation featuring 100 jokes on lollipop sticks and a BBQ on the Café terrace (28 Aug).

THEATRE

Taming of the Shrew

Fancy a bit of slapstick battle of the sexes Shakespeare al fresco? Voila! The pretty courtyard of Abington Park Museum in Northampton plays host to local company Masque Theatre‘s production of The Taming of the Shrew (Mon 2- Sat 7 August).

FESTIVALS

Northampton Town Festival

Northampton Town Festival takes over the Racecourse from Fri 6 – Sun 8 Aug with hot air balloons, a giant funfair, live music and entertainment, fireworks displays and fantastic street food.

A fallow year (cheers Covid. Not) was no deterrent to the gilttering Kaya Festival. The celebration of world music and culture marks it’s 10th anniversary this year at Overstone Park from Fri 27 to Mon 30 Aug with acts including Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Terry Hall on the line-up, plus workshops, rides, camping and street food.

Towcester Racecourse are set to host their inaugural Balloon Festival on the evening of Mon 30 Aug, with fireworks, smoke displays, a choreographed light show, hot air balloons Obvs) and skydivers, plus live music, fairground rides and artisan street food and bars!

MUSIC

Tu-Kay and Ryan Roman Way Brewery

Head to Roman Way Brewery at the Royal Ordnance Depot in Weedon on Sat 7 Aug, where local alt-folk musos Tu-Kay and Ryan will be doing their acoustic thang. Hogs & Hops will be serving pizzas and, of course, the tap room will be open.

Forge Coffee in Culworth return with another beautiful Songs by Firelight on Fri 13 Aug. Bring something comfy to sit on and settle down for an evening of soulful acoustic tunes.

On Sat 14 Aug The Picturedrome in Northampton are back on track with evergreen favourite club night Club Tropicana. Don your ra-ra skirt and get down there for some serious footloose action.

OUTDOOR CINEMA

Luna flix 2021

Luna Flix are BACK with a line-up of classic movies at Tower Field in Finedon and the majestic grounds of Boughton HouseBook your tickets now for a fabulous run of screenings from 27 Aug – 18 Sept including cult hit The Lost Boys, The Greatest Showman, Top Gun, Pretty Woman, Moana and loads more. 

FOODIE

Bite St

 Bite Street, Northampton’s cult street food pop-up, are bringing their food fest vibe to Franklin’s Gardens on Fri 6 – Sun 8 Aug with tons of local food and drink producers on tap.

Saxby’s Cider are laying on a spectacular summer BBQ on Sat 7 Aug with live music, BBQ from Franks Hamburger House and plenty of cider to wash it all down, plus orchard trailer rides for some country bumpkin fun.

CRAFTS AND ANTIQUES

Lamport hall

Lamport Hall are hosting two splendiferous events in their historic cobbled courtyard this month. Combine a family day out with a spot of shopping at the Art Craft and Design Fair (Sat 14 & Sun 15 Aug), where you can get in touch with your inner earth mother and discover traditional rural crafts like willow weaving and pole lathe turning. Fancy yourself as a bit of a collector? Head down to the Antiques and Vintage Fair (Sun 29 & Mon 30 Aug) where you’ll find everything from pocket money items to paintings, jewellery and furniture for the serious collector.

KIDS AND FAMILY

jungle book

All for one and one for all! Immersion Theatre Company return to Evenley Wood Garden this summer for a swashbuckling family production of The Three Musketeers (Sun 15 & Mon 16 Aug), followed later in the month by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (Mon 30 & Tue 31 Aug) with music, songs and plenty of interaction with the cuddly and err, not so cuddly characters. Bring a picnic for the Mudlets – it’s suitable for ages 4 and up – and maybe a glass of something chilled for the grown-ups.

Muddy Award winners West Lodge Farm Park have loads of amazing happenings over the summer holidays including animal handling sessions, barrel rides, pony rides, nature trails, sheep racing, adventure golf and a brand new outdoor adventure play area for your Duracell bunnies.

Maize mazes and PYO sunflowers are popping up all over the shop right about now. Grange Farm in Harpole have two maize mazes including a mini maze especially for tots. The maize maze and sunflower patch at Wappenham Farm opens on 16 August with a bale mountain and refreshments. Overstone Grange also has a maze maize (open throughout August) and sunflower patch (dates tbc), and The Patch MK (juuust over the Bucks border) have 5 different varieties of sunflower, 30 different varieties of wildflowers, sweetcorn and 3 acres of wheat to explore, so there’s plenty of bucolic fun to have with the tiddlers or just you, wafting around in a floral tea dress for the gram.

If your kiddos need to get stuck in to something creative, Yardley Arts are running a 3-day song-writing course for children (Mon 16 -Wed 18 Aug mornings or afternoons). They’ll embark on an explorative journey of self-discovery through games, exercises, singing, and song writing. A great way of exploring thoughts, processing emotions, and building confidence.

warts and all

Warts and All Theatre, based at Delapre Abbey in Northampton, are running a week long Film-Making Fun workshop for 8-13 year olds from 2-6 August and a Wilderness Week from 23-27 August with loads of outside activities and and making thrown in.

At Rockingham Castle Civil War History Day (8 August) and Medieval Jousting Day (15 August) look set to be fab family days out for history nerds.

Stanwick Lakes have opened their own lakeside beach this summer. Stanwick on Sea is aimed at keeping the kids entertained. You can grab a bucket and spade, make a sandcastle and refuel at the Waffle Shack.

Northampton and Lamport Railway will host a Bank Holiday Family Gala (Sat 28 – Mn 30 Aug) featuring children’s fairground rides, food vendors and a fully licensed bar, plus steam train rides, obvs.

‘Tis the season for country shows and one of the big ones, Blakesley Show, is back at it this year on Sat 7 Aug. Expect horses, fancy farm animals looking all spruced up, death defying tricks from Stunt Mania motorbike display team, craft, food stalls and loads more country action.

Head to the Royal and Derngate in Northampton for The Whisper Tree, a free audio performance that guides you and your Mudlings as you walk through nature in Becket’s Park. Starting out at the R&D, 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.

Dino thrills at The Deco on 14 & 15 August, as Jurassic Earth Live comes to the stage with animatronics, close encounters and an opportunity to get up-close and personal with some mahoosive monsters. And that’s not the end of the wild action at The Deco. 11 August sees The McDougalls in their brand new live show Safari Adventure. Dress up as your favourite animal for musical mayhem, giraffes that laugh, monkeys going bananas and plenty of interactive fun for younger children.


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