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Review of Story Hunt (Northampton) by Daniel Bye at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Within a couple of minutes of the beginning of the history tour of Northampton, I was a bus driver about to leave the Derngate Bus Station and also about to propose to another member of our small (and all female, well except me off course) band of tourists. Having only just met the lady and not holding a driving license, this was going to be an interesting afternoon all round.

However off course this was just part of what was going to be a fun and interesting seventy five minutes of history. I was neither going to crash that bus or propose marriage. These were people of the past, representing just a few of those that met at the station of the past and this story had been related to the Story Hunt team by a child of the couple I and my companion represented.

A happy story this was to begin, however on our travels around the centre of Northampton much of the story telling was to be generally grim, such is life. This was not to make it uninteresting. As we learnt of a woman being hanged, the plague victims being piled up or the senseless murder of a local character, all the stories told by our guide Daniel Bye. Bedecked in stylish and unique attire for wandering the streets of town, you could not help but notice him, as we kept hot pursuit of his fleeing form, sometimes far ahead of us.

Much like my tour of the Royal & Derngate theatre a week before, it was a story well told and presented. The interaction and involvement of the patrons was neat and clever (I got the chance to be a judge as well as a dangerous bus driver) and brought us well into the piece. I could have almost felt the moment my hot air balloon hit the building and I grabbed my dress (gender swapping was also involved) and climbed through the window to escape my doom.

Overall it was an interesting way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon. Some stories known, some stories nice to be remembered and some stories nice and new. If Story Hunt ever comes to your town, take an umbrella and tag along.

I went on my Story Hunt around Northampton on Sunday 29th June, 2014 through Royal & Derngate, Northampton (http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk). For information about future Story Hunts and its creator, see the website at http://www.danielbye.co.uk/story-hunt.html

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