An Improbable Musical to open at the Royal stage in Northampton

An Improbable Musical will open at the Royal stage in Northampton on February 25th and will close on saturday March 5th before going on tour this autumn. The show is part of Made in Northampton 2021/22 season.

With a brand-new show created at each performance, An Improbable Musical sees world renowned theatre company Improbable take to the Royal stage in Northampton.

Some of the best bits of any show are the parts that audiences never get to see – beautiful moments of discovery, fresh minted gags, a story coming alive for the first time – all of this traditionally happens in the rehearsal room. But this time, it all happens on stage with maestros of improvised theatre improvising from scratch a new show each night. Story, song and puppetry will be conjured from the unlikeliest materials and every moment of creation (or lack of it) witnessed. 

For three decades Improbable have created improvised shows that have captivated audiences across the world from off-Broadway to the National Theatre. Their productions have ranged from the hilarious to the heart-breaking, the anarchic to the eerily atmospheric but their first ever improvised musical aims to spin theatrical magic out of thin air. 

This season, the cast includes Josie Lawrence, Janet Etuk, Niall Ashdown, Ruth Bratt, Adam Courting. They will play alongside versatile musicians with Max Gittings on flute, Joley Cragg on percussion, Juliet Colyer on cello. The production will be directed by co-artistic director of Improbable Lee Simpson with associate director Angela Clerkin.

About the show, Lee Simpson said:

Improv has come of age. There are very successful make-it-up-as-you-go-along shows. Most often they take a genre we know and love and give us their improvised version. The best of these are brilliant. We love them. An Improbable Musical is a little bit different. Because the “frame” for the show is not a genre, it’s just what is in the theatre: a skeletal tower of stairs, puppets, musicians, actors and the audience. This is theatre made out of listening: performers and musicians listen to each other, to the audience, to the dreams swirling around the auditorium and from that they find the next moment of the show. A bit more listening in the world is worth a try, right?”

The show is designed by E Mallin Parry (Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe; Rotterdam. West End). The musical devisor and director is Christopher Ash (Austentatious and Mischief Movie Night, West End) and the puppet designer and director is Aya Nakamura (collaborator with Horse+Bamboo and Theatre-Rites), and both will also be part of the cast. 

Lighting design is by Colin Grenfell (Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) and Black Watch West End), sound design by Oscar Thompson (Rob Brydon Songs and Stories, UK Tour) and Will Thompson (Salome, Southwark Playhouse), and movement direction by Pauline Mayers (What I Told You, UK tour).

The production has been developed as part of a five-year project which has seen Royal & Derngate lead a national consortium of partners to support 150 artists in nurturing the creation of new musical theatre. 

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