Theatre

Pippi Longstocking at the Royal & Derngate Northampton Review

10-31 December 2019

Reviewed by Lindsay Burton

What a spectacular night at the Royal & Derngate! My three children and I thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting adaption of my favourite childhood story, Pippi Longstocking!

The story sees nine-year-old strong, brave and fearless Pippi (the very talented Emily-Mae) coming to live in her new home with her hilarious monkey (Hanora Kamen) and unbelievable horse but with no family and no rules, she brings mischief, chaos and confusion to the folk of this ordinary Midlands town, Little Town. Pippi creates the most amazing and crazy adventures, with her two new friends, Tommy (Matthew Churcher) and Annika (Philippa Hogg), driving their parents, Mr and Mrs Settegren (Alex Parry and Rowena Lennon) to utter distraction! What else would you expect from the daughter of a swashbuckling pirate captain, Captain Ephraim (Luke Potter), and with a full name like Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking, you know you are in for an absolute treat!

With plenty of laugh out loud moments, the shipwrecked seahorse and the police chase being my two favourites, the audience were captivated with this strong and strange girl that was the centre of everything. She was stronger and tougher than anyone, almost magical with her super-human strength, even if her manners required some serious attention and gave poor Miss Granberg (Scott Brooks) an awful shock! These talented musicians that make up the cast, takes this show into a whole different level a level of theatre that would be at home on a West End stage. The scenes that required impeccable timing was executed with superb brilliance and the interaction with the audience made this show a family experience to remember! 

Pippi Longstocking
Emily-Mae and Company
Photo by Manuel Harlan

“Mischief isn’t something you think up, it just happens” – Astrid Lindgren

This enchanting family show is co-produced by Wizard Presents and ABA International Touring (UK) as part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season. Celebrating 75 years since Astrid Lindgren first conceived Pippi Longstocking as “the strongest girl in the world”, this spectacular world premiere of one of our best loved children’s books will burst onto the stage in an epic musical Christmas adventure created especially for Christmas audiences.

Adapted by Mike Akers (Peter Pan) and composed by Stu Barker, whose West End and Broadway credits with Kneehigh Theatre Company include Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, this joyful production will be directed by The Wardrobe Ensemble’s Jesse Jones and Helena Middleton.

A relaxed performance is presented on Saturday 28 December at 5.30pm. These are specially adapted and relaxed performances for customers with a wide range of disabilities and for those on the autistic spectrum. There may be some small changes to the show in terms of lighting and sound but the overall content will not change. There will also be a more relaxed atmosphere in the auditorium in order to reduce anxiety and ensure an enjoyable visit. A visual story and familiarisation meeting and a relaxation area will also be available. The Royal & Derngate is easily located and parking at the St John’s Multi-story car park sees you paying £2 for the cost of your stay for the duration of the show. 

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £11 (booking fees may apply).

Pippi Longstocking is at the Royal& Derngate in Northampton from 10-31 December 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk or call the box office on 01604 624811.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811

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