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Review of A Passage to India at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Creating the world of E. M. Forster's A Passage to India for the stage and into a little over two hours running time offers many challenges, not least creating the visual world of India. However, this co-production between Royal & Derngate and simple8 throw away any need for complex sets, and bring the world of India, including some of its wildlife to life via boxes and bamboo canes. The success of this is really quite amazing as perhaps the crowning moment of the elephant brings home the most. Simple8 is an award-winning ensemble group and the way they work together to get their characters travelling through the world of India explains why they have received the awards.

A Passage to India is a 1924 novel telling of Britain's generally unpleasant rule in India and takes as its story an encounter between the elderly Mrs Moore (Liz Crowther), Adela (Phoebe Pryce), who is keen to see the real India, and Dr Aziz (Asif Khan). While their meetings seem pleasant, to begin with, e…

The Play That Goes Wrong at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

It is scary to contemplate that it is almost four years since I first saw Mischief Theatre's The Play That Goes Wrong. It is no secret that on that night I enjoyed it quite a bit (and ended up on stage, but that is another story). I returned the next evening to watch it again and then stalked it down to London later that same year, which over three years later it continues its remarkable West End success story. Since my last encounter with this original, I have seen Chris Bean's ramshackle Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society create chaos on stage and television with Peter Pan Goes Wrong, mess-up Dickens' A Christmas Carol and even gatecrash BBC Radio at Christmas. This fourth encounter with the original The Play That Goes Wrong though, offers the opportunity to see it in the hands of a different cast for the first time. How can pretenders of the original creators shape up in this anarchic disaster of a play?

Actually, as it turns out remarkably well. It is true that it did …