24 January 2015
Reviewed by Rachael Osborne
I was really excited to see this as I am a huge Downton Abbey. The Royal Theatre is situated next to the Derngate Theatre in Northampton. There is ample parking and the multi-story carpark is free at the weekends. The theatre entrance was bright, clean and welcoming and all members of staff were friendly and helpful. The Theatre Royal is a Victorian theatre which is beautiful and intimate. It has a wonderful atmosphere and this was the first time I have seen a show there.
The Only Way is Downton is described as a “smash hit parody The Only Way Is Downton from the acclaimed impressionist Luke Kempner. “ The show is based at Downton and incorporates figures and shows from popular culture, from the Great British Bake Off to John Bishop, to name a few. The basic plot is that the Dowager is getting married and Lord Grantham has lost all the money and is in danger of losing Downton Abbey, so the staff come up with different ideas to raise the money, with hilarious results. Luke Kempner is both the writer and the performer. It’s wonderfully written and Luke Kempner’s performance was quite simply fabulous. His impressions of the Downton cast, and other celebrities was spot on, I especially loved Lady Mary and Carson. Not to give too much away, but the horse riding scene was hilarious, as was the ‘Bishop of Liverpool’, and Mrs Hughes suggestion was quite simply amazing!! He captured the audience’s attention throughout the entire performance. He regularly interacted with us, and was clearly in his element performing. Even when his words went wrong he maintained character and made a joke out of it. A truly wonderful performer. How he managed to switch so seamlessly between characters I do not know. His whole persona changed as he became each character.
The following quotes sum up perfectly The Only Way is Downton, and Luke Kempner
‘The energizer bunny of impressionists.’ The Huffington Post
‘A fine impressionist, giving a splendid display of Downtonry.’ Stephen Fry
‘Kempner IS every major character… stunning!’ Digital Spy
This show is a MUST SEE for all Downton fans and for anyone wanting a fabulously funny night out!!
For shows at the Royal & Derngate visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811