Christmas shows announced for Northampton theatre

The Worst Witch
The Worst Witch

There will be two world premieres coming to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton with the announcement of the Christmas shows.

The Worst Witch will be performed on the Royal stage from November 27 to December 30 while The Everywhere Bear can be seen on the Underground stage from November 29 to January 6.

The Everywhere Bear

The Everywhere Bear

The former will be an original story for the stage by Emma Reeves based upon Jill Murphy’s beloved series of classic novels The Worst Witch. It can be seen at Northampton before a major tour.

The Worst Witch is the story of an ordinary girl who finds herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches. Now in her final year, accident-prone Mildred Hubble and her fellow pupils leave a trail of mayhem behind them as they find themselves at the centre of a battle that’s being fought for their future.

Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch stories have sold more than five million copies and been made into films and TV series by HBO, ITV and CBBC.

On adapting the novels for the stage, Emma Reeves said: “We’re creating a brand new story as well as revisiting moments from the books. Jealous Ethel Hallow is out to spoil Mildred's fun, and Miss Hardbroom is opposed to all fun in general. But, without giving too much away, Mildred faces a greater danger than she ever imagined as an old enemy returns, with a plan for revenge that could threaten not just the Academy, but the whole world…"

Winner of the Royal Television Society Award for Best Children’s Television Programme, and of the 2017 British Screenwriters Award for Best Children’s Programme for the television adaptations of The Worst Witch, Emma Reeves’ screen writing credits include Eve, The Dumping Ground and The Story of Tracy Beaker.

The Worst Witch will be directed by Theresa Heskins, artistic director of the New Vic Theatre, Staffordshire. Theresa’s past credits include a production of The Snow Queen which won the 2017 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People.

In their Underground Studio, the venue will also be staging another world premiere for Christmas 2018, with an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s The Everywhere Bear. It comes to Northampton for the festive season after playing at its co-producing venues Polka Theatre and Little Angel Theatre, and builds on Royal & Derngate’s commitment to creating fun and accessible shows for the youngest of audiences.

This captivating and beautiful story springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in an exciting production, adapted and directed by Polka Theatre’s Peter Glanville (Moominsummer Madness, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), with music composed by Julian Butler. Aimed at under 7s and their families.

Tickets are on sale now for The Worst Witch, priced from £11, and for The Everywhere Bear, priced from £10.50. For more information, call 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.