Stage premiere of Regeneration at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate marks centenary of First World War

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The world premiere of the first ever stage adaptation of Pat Barker’s First World War novel Regeneration, by Nicholas Wright, takes to the stage at Royal & Derngate from Friday August 29 to Saturday September 20.

Part of the theatre’s Made in Northampton season, this co-production with Touring Consortium Theatre Company will embark on nationwide tour after opening in Northampton.

As Britain commemorates the centenary of the start of the First World War, Pat Barker’s haunting Booker-nominated novel Regeneration is adapted by Olivier Award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright (Vincent In Brixton, His Dark Materials, National Theatre).

The production is directed by former associate director of Royal & Derngate, Evening Standard Award-winning Simon Godwin, whose recent work includes Strange Interlude at London’s National Theatre.

Set at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, in 1917, the play follows poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon who has been institutionalised in an attempt to undermine his public disapproval of the war. His Army Psychiatrist, Dr William Rivers, is tasked with returning shell-shocked officers to the trenches, yet has become tormented by the morality of what is being done in the name of medicine.

Reminding us that some of the most intimate of friendships are borne from the most brutal of conflicts, Regeneration is a compellingly compassionate look at a nihilistic war and the devastating effect it had on a generation of young men.

Regeneration provides the centrepiece to a wide range of cultural events planned as part of the theatre’s collaboration with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery to commemorate Northampton’s contribution to the First World War. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Conflict and Community – Northampton Remembers the First World War encompasses specially commissioned theatre productions, film screenings, family days, exhibitions, history sessions and an extensive education programme.

Marking the opening weekend of the play, a First World War Family Day on Saturday 30 August celebrates the value of community, with indoor and outdoor craft activities, stalls, exhibitions and entertainment.

Regeneration can be seen at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Friday August 29 to Saturday September 20, with evening performances at 7.45pm (except Tuesday September 2, 7pm) and matinees most Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm. Tickets priced from £29 to £10 can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at