Six­fields be­comes a stage

No, not re­ally – Northamp­ton’s seat­ing al­lo­ca­tion was all part of a theatre pro­duc­tion

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

If you are any­thing like us, barely a day goes by when you don’t wish you could just spend your sum­mer hang­ing out on a sofa in­side your club’s home sta­dium, wait­ing for the new sea­son to start.

Well the fans of League One side Northamp­ton Town were in luck, as they were able to do just that for £5 – and there was even a handy lamp pro­vided for when it got a bit dark.

Sadly, you couldn’t ac­tu­ally stay there 24/7 – this was all a part of an un­usual the­atri­cal tour of the Cob­blers’ Six­fields Sta­dium. Billed as ‘im­mer­sive theatre’, it went way be­yond your bog-stan­dard sta­dium tour – by us­ing ac­tors, dancers and a hand­held film to guide pun­ters around the ground and back through the club’s proud 120-year his­tory.

As fans wan­dered, the film showed some ac­tors play­ing three gen­er­a­tions of a fic­tional Northamp­ton-sup­port­ing fam­ily, and also fea­tured a fly­ing dragon and a gla­di­a­tor bat­tle. You what? Ah yes, that match against Ch­ester­field in 1963 re­ally was event­ful. The tour was sim­i­lar to vir­tual re­al­ity but live ac­tors ap­peared too – in­clud­ing some dressed as play­ers from the old days and even the dragon him­self, Cob­blers mas­cot Clarence.

The Twelfth Player was put to­gether by the Seven Sis­ters theatre com­pany, renowned for in­no­va­tive in­stal­la­tions – this one came to fruition thanks to a brain­wave from the lo­cal art cu­ra­tor and Town sup­porter Yasmin Can­vin, who got the ball rolling. And they did their re­search – one se­quence hailed leg­endary winger Tommy Fowler and the current Northamp­ton Ladies team por­trayed pre-war women’s play­ers.

Su­sanne Thomas, who co-runs the theatre com­pany, ad­mits she wasn’t a foot­ball fan be­fore­hand, but quickly warmed to the sport. “It’s all theatre re­ally,” she tells Four­fourtwo. “There’s that back­stage area, then they come onto the stage and the drama un­folds.”

The pro­duc­tion’s been such a roar­ing suc­cess that Seven Sis­ters are keen to ex­pand it, po­ten­tially to other grounds. Maybe keep that sofa by the pitch at Six­fields for a lit­tle bit longer, though, just in case vet­eran Cob­blers mid­fielder Matt Tay­lor wants to have a sit-down be­fore curl­ing in his next cor­ner-kick.

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