Northampton hub offers help to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

As families flock to Royal & Derngate in Northampton to see this year’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime, the team behind the production have thanked Vulcan Works for providing them with space to rehearse after areas of the theatre building were closed following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in September.

Even though Royal & Derngate theatre officially reopened at the end of October to the public, there are still some areas behind the scenes that are no longer in use due to restricted access whilst remedial works take place.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs boasts a large ensemble of 70 cast members including a principal cast of 14, led by Strictly champion Ore Oduba and Coronation Street star Wendi Peters, an ensemble of villagers, ghouls and woodland animals, plus more than 50 young people making up the Youth Ensemble.

To support their neighbours, Vulcan Works provided vacant creative workspaces free of charge to the team to give the cast sufficient space to rehearse.

The principal cast started rehearsing together on Saturday 25th November with the Youth Ensemble, made up of members of Royal & Derngate Young Company and Youth Theatre, joining them for the final weeks, having rehearsed separately throughout the autumn. Having additional space so close to the theatre itself meant that different groups could move between rehearsing in the Royal & Derngate studio, auditorium and workspaces over the road at Vulcan Works, enabling work on setting scenes, choreography and costume fittings to all take place at the same time. The additional workspaces were also used to accommodate weekly community groups including Community Choir, Youth Theatre, Actors Company and Artist Development, with an average of 250 participants a week. Vulcan Works also hosted Gen Fest performances and workshops in November and currently has a community cast of tap-dancing frogs rehearsing on site for the forthcoming January show, Spymonkey’s The Frogs.

Garrick Hurter, Centre Manager at Vulcan Works, said: “It has been a real pleasure to support the Royal & Derngate in this way over the last few months. As firm supporters of the creative industries and our local community, it just made sense. We look forward to working together more in 2024.”

Jo Gordon, Chief Executive at Royal & Derngate, said: “It has been great to be able to use the creative workspaces at the Vulcan Works both for pantomime rehearsals and for a huge variety of our community activities over the last few months, and we look forward to continuing this relationship through the spring. It’s invaluable having these brilliant facilities available to us just across the road from the theatre, and we are truly grateful for the warm welcome we’ve been given at the Vulcan Works.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs until Sunday 31st December. To book tickets, go to Spymonkey’s The Frogs takes to the stage from Friday 19th January to Saturday 3rd February.

For more information on Vulcan Works and the creative workspaces available, see