Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Cluedo 2 at Milton Keynes Theatre

Back in 2022, the original Cluedo stage play, based on a 1985 play by Sandy Rustin, itself based on the cult US film Clue , journeyed to Milton Keynes Theatre as part of a UK tour. It was, it has to be said, an average affair, made good by some excellent staging and at times a very fair tribute to the original board game. Now two years later, the success of that tour clearly warranted a return to the franchise and we find Cluedo 2 now on stage at Milton Keynes Theatre. So, is a follow-up warranted, and does it address many of the issues of the original? Let's find out. Unlike the original and with no film source material to create a second play from, legendary TV comedy writers Maurice Gran and Lawrence Mark have taken the helm to provide the script for this production. Sadly, the legendary writers have for the best part plowed through their archives of extremely dated, and tiresome comedy. Much of the script is heavy on the obvious, high on the cringe, and while at times it can

Review of UoN Fringe 2019: Working For The Man by Naked Truth Theatre at The Platform Club, Northampton

When looking at the prospect of the Fringe performance Working For The Man , it is slightly difficult to work out who is the bravest person involved in this remarkable one performer, one audience member show set totally within or around the edges of a car. I guess I would in my case, say myself, but it takes some daring for performer Ellie Lomas of Naked Truth Theatre to also create a piece that offers the boldness that it does. Working for the Man is perhaps unsurprisingly about the sex trade, and explores exploitation and how, or if, prostitution is taken as a serious profession. It involves no live audio dialogue from performer Ellie Lomas, instead, she inhabits a purely physical performance, that is progressed by the use of a pair of headphones which you are given at the start. Across this audio are instructions of what to do. "Get in the car", "sit in the middle seat in the back", "open the glove compartment" etc, as you move to different areas

Review of UoN Fringe 2019: Unveiled by Myriad Theatre at The Platform Club, Northampton

It is safe to say I think that reviewer and show maker alike never set out to deliberately write a bad review or create a bad show. There is simply no logic in it really for the latter, I mean why would you? However when the latter occurs and the former is there in the audience, things will end badly, and for me, it gives me no enjoyment. For my penultimate show, Unveiled , at this year's University of Northampton Fringe Festival, Myriad Theatre performer Isabella Hunt explores what marriage means to her in what ends up being just 18 minutes of a show that sadly goes nowhere. Marriage to Hunt it seems involves intermittently putting on and taking off a succession of dresses, amongst a collection of anguished thoughts mostly that mainly involves an outrageously over repeated physical piece. There is some very brief interaction with the audience among the lines of "how many of you are married?" and other light thoughts, where the answers are written onto a dress, the