the debut album by


Many of you know about my love of The Brandy Thieves. A great Leicester based band with influences from folk, punk and soul, with a healthy dose of scar thrown in for good measure.

The Brandy Thieves came together in late 2012 during which time they have produced some of the best festival anthems around. So, it came as something of a surprise to find that, until November 2015, they had not produced an album! The guys have released a couple of ep’s but not a full album… well they have now it’s called ‘Old Tattoos’ and I got my hands on a copy of it!

Through their music, The Brandy Thieves use well crafted lyrics and an array of musical instruments to tell, in the great folk tradition, a story. Stories based on their experience of life. They tell stories of alcohol fueled benders and the kind of social commentary that can only come from a life well lived. Their songs are catchy and easy to get into and before you know it, you are hooked!

If their ep’s and live gigs tell you a story, then their new album, ‘Old Tattoos’, use those stories to take you on a journey; the journey of The Brandy Thieves. The album brings together their music from the very beginning of their existence to where they are today. In many ways the listeners become voyeurs, watching through sound, the very personal journeys these guys have gone through and which comes through in their lyrics and music.

I loved the new album, Old Tattoo’s and have it playing at least once a day, much to my kids annoyance; they are big fans of The Brandy Thieves but, they tell me,  “you always have it on!”. Well that may be near the truth but I make no apologies for it! So The Brandy Thieves first album, Old Tattoo’s’, should be in everyone’s collection and I can hardly wait for their next one!

The Brandy Thieves are a very talented bunch who deserve to have much wider recognition than they currently enjoy! So, watch out Mumford and Son, you have some serious competition!!!



TWIT: @thebrandythieves







The Brandy Thieves

Moscow City Ballet comes to the East Midlands

It’s always a bit of an anti-climax, you welcome in the new year with optimistic vigour only to be thwarted by the cold and dark of the Great British winter. Well, we may well have found something to give you the warmth that is cruelly lacking this time of year.

What is this antidote to jack frost and a lack of daylight?

Well, maybe this it:




are proud to present


The Moscow City Ballet begin their eagerly awaited 2015 tour with two of their much-loved and enchanting performances of Swan Lake and Giselle.

Giselle beautifully tells the tale of those eponymous village girl who dies of a broken heart when her peasant lover Albrecht is unmasked as a nobleman who is betrothed to another.

Swan Lake is a signature piece of the Moscow City ballet company’s repertoire. The orchestra, choreography, interpretation, beauty and outstanding virtuoso performances win repeatedly rave reviews.

So, throw away those winter blues and get some central heating for the soul with a visit to the Royal and Derngate and the Moscow City Ballet from 12th – 17th Jan 2015.

For further information click HERE


Royal & Derngate throws open its doors for Fun Palaces festival and open day


On Saturday 4 October Northampton’s Royal & Derngate throws open its doors for Fun Palaces, a free pop-up festival and open day.


From creative workshops for all ages to live performances and theatre anyone can take part in, there are a huge amount of activities taking place throughout the day in all kinds of spaces, including the theatre’s stages, foyer space and 12 tents erected around the building.


Activities include dressing up in costumes from the wardrobe department, face painting, making masks, drawing or learning Chinese paper cutting. Workshop themes range from poetry, dance and singing, to opportunities to find out how stage lighting works. There will be a fascinating exhibition about pantomime, and performances range from storytelling and theatre, to comedy and music.


Visitors can drop in and pick up a free day pass, then stay for an hour or all day long – there will be plenty to keep everyone entertained, and it is all completely free! A full schedule of events can be found on the theatre’s website at


This event is taking place as part of the Fun Palaces initiative which sees venues across the UK hosting events that bring together arts and sciences, children and adults. For more information about Fun Palaces visit


The events and activities at Royal & Derngate are suitable for all ages from 9.30am to 5pm, while from 5pm onwards events are aimed at adults, culminating in a special immersive theatre performance Apocalypse, starting at midnight.


To avoid disappointment people can book their free places for performances and workshops via Box Office on 01604 624811.

There will also be plenty of fun and exciting ways for volunteers of all ages to help out at this event. Anyone interested can contact Erica Martin for more information by calling 01604 655757 or emailing


courtesy of The Royal & Derngate, Northampton





Royal & Derngate, Northampton: Fun Palaces

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

A co-production with Northern Stage and the Royal Exchange Theatre.DATES 01 OCT – 18 OCT 2014 THE ROYAL

The stifling heat of the plantation. A relationship on the brink. A night of bourbon-soaked confrontations and a family dynasty in crisis. Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer prize-winning Cat On A Hot Tin Roof remains one of the stage’s most seductive evocations of the Deep South.

Brimming with emotional intensity, this powerful family drama sees Maggie the Cat and her husband Brick return to his home on the night of patriarch and cotton tycoon Big Daddy’s 65th birthday. Keeping from him the news that he is dying, the evening spirals into disaster as the family scramble to secure their part of his inheritance.

Life-altering secrets are revealed and tensions explode as Artistic Director James Dacre’s exciting new staging, with original music by MOJO and Q Award-winning band White Lies brings a scorching intensity to Williams’ classic tale.



Copyright Royal & Derngate 2013


©Copyright TheGuyWithaStick2014



Screaming Blue Murder Comedy Club


Killer stand-up at Royal & Derngate’s comedy club


Three more of the hottest properties on the stand-up scene take the stage at the opening Screaming Blue Murder Comedy Club of this season, compered by Dan Evans at Royal & Derngate on Friday 12 September.


Fresh from the Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle tour and Edinburgh Fringe, comedy musician Mitch Benn is kicking off the bill with his renowned musical delights and quips commonly found on Radio 4’s The Now Show.


Managing to mix silliness with edginess, Juliet Myers with her chatty style is taking to the stage in an act which will interact with audiences and muse on her observations of life. Much in demand and a comedy circuit sensation, her unique brand of gag-driven chat will make audiences laugh out loud.


Hailing from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, Craig Murray has shared the comedy stage with the likes of Harry Hill and Stewart Lee. An instant crowd pleaser with his mock-confrontational style he’s bringing his impressive stage presence to the Underground to round up a night of glee.


Screaming Blue Murder Comedy Club returns to the Underground at Royal & Derngate on Friday 12 September at 8.15pm. Tickets are priced at £12.50*, and can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or visiting Doors open at 7.45pm, and the show is recommended for ages 16 and above.


* A transaction fee of £2.80 applies to telephone and website bookings only. Does not apply in person, or to Groups and Friends, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.


Copyright Royal & Derngate 2013

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Film Northants 2014, Errol Flynn Filmhouse

Witchcraft, villainy and mischief feature in annual film awards

Film-makers across the county had their work celebrated at the annual Film Northants festival this week (September 1st 2014).

Across two evenings, 15 shortlisted films – all made in Northamptonshire – were screened at Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Northampton, in front of a full house.

Awards and prizes were presented to the winners of the Under 16s and Over 16s categories which included film workshops, mentoring and funding towards future projects.

The winner of the Under 16s category was Bridgewater Primary School Film Club with their mischievous short Dimension Dilemma. Their prize included training with TV and stage actor Ian Reddington who has appeared on top shows Eastenders, Coronation Street, Doctor Who and The Bill.

Anastasia Rose, one of the pupils who made Dimension Dilemma, said: “I feel really astonished and surprised but quite sad because we are leaving school now. But I hope we’ll get together sometime and make a sequel.”

Pupil, Kiera Caskell, added: “It felt amazing when the announcement came and I’m really proud of the work we did and just very excited about the whole night.”

The Under 16s second place winner was Egyptian adventure Trapped! made by pupils at Chipping Warden Primary Academy.

The winner of the Over 16s Public Vote, was comedy short Villainy made by Chris Saunders, Chris Milner, Ryan Loebell and Ross Bayes.

Chris Saunders said: “We feel now like we want to pursue film-making as a career and this award means we can do that more easily.

“I would say to anyone who is thinking of getting into film to enter this competition but make sure you make something you believe in. It works.”

Double award winner Joe Burden, picked up the second place prize for the Public Vote as well as the coveted Judges’ Choice award for his film Beneath the Wormwood Trees.

He said: “It was terrifying to sit there having done something quite personal and wait to see whether an audience liked it. So to have both the public and judges both look at it and see something they liked was really amazing.

“Seeing the other films that entered, there was some pretty astonishing stuff there, and some of that didn’t even make it to the finals. That shows you the standard Film Northants generates now.”

It was the first time the event – which has been running for seven years – had been held at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse. The two awards nights included a Q&A with film-makers, a talk by veteran producer/director Tony Klinger and the screening of out-of-competition films.

Tony Klinger said: “When film-makers start out they are normally thinking TV, which is no good. These guys are already thinking of big concepts to fill a cinema screen and that is wonderful. I can see there’s burgeoning film talent in Northamptonshire and it’s something I wouldn’t associate myself with otherwise.”

Jan Willis, Finance Director of Royal & Derngate, said Errol Flynn Filmhouse were delighted to host the awards, and added: “Film Northants is a path for local filmmakers to come together and showcase their work and Northamptonshire. It is a hidden gem in England. It is great to have films made here that can potentially reach out over the world.”

© Film Northants





Tue 09 Sep 14



Twenty five years after topping the charts globally with the single, All Around The World, Britain’s iconic soul singer Lisa Stansfield is joined by a live band to perform songs from her new album, Seven, along with classic hits from her extensive, successful career.
VIP package £99:
Meeting with Lisa before the show
A photo opportunity
A signed tour merchandise
A commemorative tour laminate
A seat in front 4 rows


Copyright Royal & Derngate 2013

LISA STANSFIELD; Derngate, Northampton


 Jimmy Carr


Fri 05 Sep 14


Jimmy has been described as ‘the hardest working man in comedy’. Which, let’s face facts, is not that impressive. It’s like being the ‘Tallest Dwarf’ or the ‘Healthiest Glaswegian’. Really not that big a deal. Funny Business is Jimmy’s brand new stand up show. Come for the witty and incisive musings on the human condition; stay for the knob gags.
Copyright Royal & Derngate 2013

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

The Royal & Derngate



Thu 04 Sep 14



Jasper Carrott is back to his very best  with new stand up routines and his musical compatriots, Bev Bevanand The Bev Bevan Band, Trevor Burton of The Move, Geoff Turton lead singer of The Rockin Berries andJoy Strachan-Brain the lead singer of one of the UK’s finest celtic rock bands Quill.
Do not miss this unique show that gives the opportunity to see and hear great legendary artists in a night of fantastic songs, with Jasper back where he belongs.



Copyright Royal & Derngate 2013





Fri 29 Aug – Sat 20 Sep 14



A co-production with Touring Consortium Theatre Company

Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland 1917. Poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon has been institutionalised in an attempt to undermine his public disapproval of the war. His Army Psychiatrist, Dr William Rivers, has been tasked with returning shell-shocked officers to the trenches, yet under Sassoon’s influence, has become tormented by the morality of what is being done in the name of medicine.

Marking the centenary of the start of the First World War, this new dramatisation of Pat Barker’s haunting Booker-nominated novel is adapted by Olivier Award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright (His Dark Materials, Vincent In Brixton) and opens at Royal & Derngate prior to its national tour.



Reminding us that some of the most intimate of friendships are borne from the most brutal of conflicts, Regeneration is a compellingly compassionate look at a nihilistic war and the devastating effect it had on a generation of young men.


Before the performance on Wednesday 10 September, there will be a rehearsed reading of Stateless,  a new play by Subika Anwar. Posing questions about the current state of the nation this new play explores the world’s descent and idea of contemporary war.

The Royal & Derngate, Northampton