The Band at the Royal & Derngate Northampton Review

29 May to 9 June 2018


Reviewed by Amanda Browne

We made it to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton last night (29 May 2018) with seconds to spare to review the new musical The Band. I actually don’t know where to begin. Maybe that during the interval I began to look for tickets to see it again?

The most inventive opening I’ve ever seen started the show. I heard so many tunes tonight I can’t remember if the opening number was Pray… but most of us were clapping our hands and singing out loud by the end of it! I can’t begin to extol the virtues of the cast as a whole as everyone involved was quite simply amazing. I thought this show was about the ‘band’ but boy oh boy ladies… both young and old, you stole my heart.

The Band: Left to Right: AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Yazdan Qafouri and Nick Carsberg
Photo Credit Matt Crockett

This show is about life, about letting a moment in time define the path your life takes. Something those of us in our late 40s can clearly identify with. I am astonished at the emotions the show bought out in me, singing (loudly and out of tune) wanting to be on my feet by song three, dancing for my life, tears trickling down my face by mid-way through the show, laughing out loud at the humour, and by the very end unashamedly sobbing.

I don’t want to spoil the plot, but the story follows five 16 year olds through to their 40s, who they were, who they became, who they wanted to be. The songs of Take That used amazingly to compliment the plot. All your favourites and then some are there, to be honest you really don’t need to be a fan to appreciate the sentiment and way the songs were used. Too many favourites, loved loved Million Love Songs, Never Forget, Back for Good, Rule the World. Too many to name. I need to mention the set, never seen a set used so well, crazy good in places, the lockers… her bedroom in the opening, the plane.

The Band: Faye Christall as Young Rachel (centre) with Five To Five as The Band
Photo Credit Matt Crockett

It was amazingly sensational, I didn’t want it to end, and needed no more than a seconds encouragement to stand and sing my heart out with the entire cast at the end. They all truly deserved the standing ovation they received, I can’t congratulate all involved enough and can’t wait to see you all again. Loved every minute of it… buy your tickets fast I hear they are selling at an alarming rate.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £19.50 to £49.50 (booking fees may apply).

The Band is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton from 29 May to9 June 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01604 624811.

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

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