Moore the merrier as play comes to Town

Gone are the days when theatre audiences would solely expect to plonk themselves into precisely placed rows of chairs, lined up like soldiers in front of a neat stage full of bellowing actors.

Going to some theatre productions can still feel a little like this but, increasingly, directors seem to be breaking the conventions of theatre, transplanting actors and audiences into unusual places, as well as experimenting with the latest innovations in light and sound techniques.

Northampton-born David Moore – known professionally as DC Moore – is one playwright who has seen his texts lifted and brought to life in very different ways.

Not only was his recent one-man play Honest performed at the bar in Northampton's Mailcoach, but his full length play The Empire is expected to continue its run with performances at a shopping centre in the Elephant & Castle area of London.

And, in the 30-year-old's latest play Town, the theatre experience at the Royal in Northampton will be transformed, with some audience members even sitting on the stage.

David, who grew up in Duston, said: "I had originally written Honest as a play which could be set anywhere, it was the artistic director Laurie Sansom's idea to put it in the pub.

"I knew it would be a challenge, and the pressure was working out where to put the seats. We realised that we wanted the feeling of having a

pint over the table from someone.

"It was really challenging, particularly dealing with the noise from the pub, but we realised that if we could use a tight space, we could all hear each other.

"It was a little difficult as not everyone in Northampton seemed to realise the rules of theatre and a lot of them talked to the actor. In the first performance, someone even came and brought him a drink and the bar maid gave it to him."

David, who is fast earning a name for himself as one of Britain's rising talents, is now celebrating the fact that Honest is set to be shown at this year's Edinburgh Festival.

And, on June 18, his play Town – which is set in and around contemporary Northampton – will start its run at the Royal & Derngate.

Although not a play about the Northamptonshire poet John Clare, there are echoes of similarity between the writer and Town's central character John.

Many authors have been fascinated with the journey John Clare once made on foot between London and Northamptonshire, and David too decided to focus on what this voyage would be like in the modern world.

But John's story is very different from John Clare's, and focuses on his journey north to escape the anonymity of corporate city life and head for the comforts of home.

David, a former Duston Upper School pupil who now lives in London, said; "I started with the concept of how someone would walk from Northampton to London now. I wanted to write a play for Northampton and liked that idea.

"The more I was writing it, the more I realised it has been a play

about how friends and family reassure you after a terrible time, it is about home and piecing yourself back together."

Another theme of the play is the exploration of people's mixed feelings about home and their home town, according to David.

"When you are in your early 20s a lot of people decide they want to go to the big bright lights of London. But a lot of people, when they get that bit older, start to think it would be nicer living in the suburbs."

Town will run from June 18 to July 3. To book tickets, ring Northampton 624811 or log onto