Madcap tale of murder and intrigue at Royal & Derngate

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A “madcap” take on the gothic thriller, Cooped will make its way to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate this week.

When beautful, fawn-like Laura du Lay arrives in the remote county of Northumberlandhamptonshire to take up her position as confidential secretary to the reclusive Forbes Murdston, she uncovers a tangled web of murder, love and mistaken identity.

For as long as she can remember, she has ignored the unsettling rumours that surround her new employer, his ominous manservant, Klaus, and the ancient mansion. But what do Murdston’s violent mood swings signify?

Cooped is directed by Cal McCrystal, comedy director of the National Theatre’s recent hit, One Man Two Guv’nors, and director of the forthcoming Alan Ayckbourn revival, Mr Whatnot, at Royal & Derngate.

It was first created by Spymonkey in 2001 and toured internationally, following on from a UK tour when it was describeded by Time Out as “a beautifully-crafted melodrama, packed with physical humour, silliness and exquisite performances.”

The production will be staged at the Royal beween January 15 and 19.

Evening performances will be at 7.45pm and matinees will take place on the Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets cost between £33.50 and £10 and can be booked at the box office on 01604 624811 or online at

The show is recommended for those aged 14 and above.