21 April 2016
Reviewed by Clair Bellamy
On Thursday 21st April I was lucky to attend a performance of the new musical, Ireland’s Call, at the Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton.
The theatre is situated in the center of Northampton and is signposted well as you approach it. There are two or three pay and display or ticket operated barrier car parks very close to the theatre. The car park we used was a 24 hour ticket operated multi storey car park and evening parking after 6pm costs just £1.
The theatre itself is a refurbished older theatre that now has a more modern outlook but still retains some of the atmosphere of the original building. Toilet facilities were clean and accessed down a flight of stairs, disabled facilities are also available and ramps and disabled access points are easily accessible. There is a lovely separate bar area and concession stands easily found from the foyer. It would be advisable to pre order interval drinks as it does get very busy. The auditorium is very large and airy with quite comfortable modern seating and good views from all round.
Ireland’s Call is a musical post World War 2 following the lives of young sweethearts Cora and Sean. It tells the story of how Sean moved to the USA, hoping to make some money to better himself and be in a position to marry Cora and how their relationship develops and changes while they are apart.
The main genre of music throughout is traditional Irish and has real toe tapping qualities with the occasional 50’s/60’s hit thrown in, it also really sets the stage to showcase some amazing Irish dancing. There is a good amount of audience participation with some of the more well known traditional ballads and it is really enjoyable, no one nearby us sat and didn’t join in as the fun is so infectious. It was also lovely to see that while touring, Ireland’s Call ask a local Irish dancing school to participate in the show, it gives young children a real taste of a professional production and adds to a sense of local pride.
The cast were amazing not only for their voices but for their dancing abilities too. All were perfectly cast in their roles and made them come to life. The stage was simple but very effective with a projector screen backdrop showing different views for each place in the story but also putting up information about the history and allowing you to read the letters sent by the young couple. Costumes were also simple but in keeping with the era and places in the story and very well thought out.
I can thoroughly recommend this show to anyone who loves dance, traditional music, modern history, fun and audience participation.
A really good night out!
Ireland’s call the musical is currently on tour around the UK. For more information, tour dates or to buy tickets at a venue near you visit www.irelandscallthemusical.com.
For other shows at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811