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DANCING AT LUGHNASA Continues Royal & Derngate's 'Made in Northampton' Season Tonight

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Royal & Derngate's Made in Northampton season continues with the multi-award-winning Dancing At Lughnasa, by Irish playwright Brian Friel. This tender and moving yet funny play takes to the Royal stage from today 24 May to Saturday 15 June.

Set in rural Donegal in 1936, at a time when life was simple but making ends meet seems impossibly hard, the play follows the five Mundy sisters as they laugh, cry and dance together.

During the course of a summer when their missionary brother returns from Africa a frail and changed man and the sisters get their first wireless radio, relationships are tested, social conventions challenged and the doctrines of the church clash with the spirit of a Pagan past. Dreams of love crumble as dusk sets on the life the sisters knew.

Told through the eyes of seven-year old Michael, the illegitimate son of one of the sisters, this is a magical, moving, memory-story filled with humour, tenderness and the longing of unfulfilled lives.

First performed at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1990, the play transferred to London's National Theatre the next year, winning the Olivier Award for Best Play and subsequently went to Broadway where it added the Tony Award for Best Play to a growing clutch of awards. The film version, made in 1998, starred Meryl Streep as Kate Mundy.

Richard Beecham returns to Royal & Derngate to direct after his critically-acclaimed productions of Terrence Rattigan's In Praise Of Love and Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy. The designer is Naomi Dawson (As You Like It - RSC) who previously worked with Richard on In Praise Of Love in Northampton.Lighting design is by Lee Curran (nominated for an Olivier 2013 for Constellations at the Royal Court). Jon Nicholls returns to Royal & Derngate as Composer and Sound Designer, fresh from work on the theatre's most recent production A Midsummer Night's Dream and earlier work on the Young Americaseason with Laurie Sansom, which transferred to The National Theatre.

The talented cast includes Milo Twomey, who starred in the hugely popular Brief Encounter, which Royal & Derngate co-produced with Kneehigh, andChristopher Saul who recently won a Helen Hayes award in the US for his role in the Globe tour of Hamlet. Others in the cast are Sarah Corbett, Colm Gormley, Gráinne Keenan, Caroline Lennon, Michele Moran and Zoë Rainey.

This year the theatre has once again teamed up with Holiday Inn (Bedford Road, Northampton) to offer a special weekend accommodation deal for theatre-goers, costing just £99 for two, for bed, breakfast and show tickets for Made In Northampton productions, on a Friday or Saturday night. This package can be booked through Royal & Derngate Box Office.

Press Night: Tuesday 28 May at 7pm. Dates: Today 24 May to Saturday 15 June 2013. Times: Evenings 7.45pm (except Tuesday 28 May 7pm); Matinees - Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm (excluding Saturday 25 May and Saturday 8 June). No performances on Sundays. Tickets: £13 to £28. Box Office: 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.


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