The production premiered on Friday 28th September 2018 at Royal & Derngate, Northampton
I just can't wait to be in Northampton...
It’s 1968 and Northampton is on the verge of great change: it is becoming a ‘New Town’. The Northampton Development Corporation has been established. An advertising jingle is soon to be re-released as a pop record. But as thousands of families flock in from London, some are concerned that Northampton’s identity is starting to slip away…
Directed by Andy Routledge and created with Northampton artists, 60 Miles By Road Or Rail brings Northampton’s past and present crashing together to celebrate our town at a time when austerity threatens to pull it apart.
From Creative Director Andy Routledge
After a year away I returned to my hometown and was eager to create a theatrical event that looked inwards to Northampton. I assembled a company of local artists from a wide range of theatrical practices and we started listening to the experiences of over 100 local people through heritage events, workshops and meetings in pubs, cafes and libraries to create a new production for Northampton.
During our process, Northamptonshire’s local authority went bust. Austerity measures mixed with mismanagement by local and central government led to slashed core services, closed libraries and protests on the streets. Northamptonshire was suddenly front-page news in the New York Times: A Middle England county in chaos.
60 Miles by Road or Rail therefore evolved into a resounding state of the nation play. Influenced by Peter Cheeseman’s documentary theatre method and the work of James Graham, it offers a retelling of the past 50 years of Northamptonian experiences and asks what it means for our sense of belonging when our home undergoes crisis, and what we can do about it.
Rehearsing the show
60 Miles by Road Or Rail is supported by Generate: Royal & Derngate’s Artist Development Programme, in partnership with Warts and All Theatre’s With/By/For programme, Umbrella Fair Organisation and Northampton Past. The production is made possible due to funding from Arts Council England, The Travers Foundation and Unity Theatre Trust.