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Curtain up for campaign to celebrate 40 years of the Derngate Theatre

NORTHAMPTON’S DERNGATE auditorium turns 40 years old this year. To mark the occasion,  Royal & Derngate has launched a fundraising campaign and is to host a gala dinner on September 24.

The celebratory event, held in the Derngate auditorium itself, offers supporters of the theatre the chance to enjoy an evening of reminiscence and entertainment, alongside a delicious three-course meal.

The proceeds raised from the evening will go towards supporting the Derngate at 40 campaign, which focuses on providing opportunities for young people to engage in youth theatre, increasing provision for access performances, and helping to regenerate the auditorium for future theatregoers.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in concert at the Derngate.


The theatre has called on Northamptonshire businesses to support the campaign by booking tickets for the Gala Dinner (available as individual seats or tables of ten), by offering prizes for the silent auction that will be held on the night or by making a donation to the Derngate at 40 campaign.

The theatre said that 26,000 young people engaged in Royal & Derngate’s youth theatre activities and community led programmes last year, with another 18,000 engaging in its Unlock Theatre and Beyond the Stage opportunities.

With the help of charitable donations, the theatre can continue to nurture future creative talent and offer bursaries to ensure that finance should be no barrier to a child fulfilling its creative potential, said Royal & Derngate ‘s development manager Chris Smith.

More than six million visitors have passed through the theatre’s doors since its last major refurbishment in 2006. Another focus of the anniversary year is to refresh the current seating and keep the Derngate auditorium looking at the top of its game.

Mr Smith said: “The support of local businesses and loyal theatregoers for our Derngate at 40 appeal is invaluable. With the help of their generosity, we can continue to nurture future creative talent, to create an accessible theatre offering for all and to rejuvenate the auditorium seating to help us welcome many more audiences for years to come.”

Book tickets for the gala dinner and find out more about the plans for the theatre’s 40th anniversary at www.royalandderngate.co.uk/derngate-40-gala-dinner/

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