Produced by the New Wolsey in association with Graeae, the musical is set in 1979 and features the music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, including “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”, “Spasticus Autisticus” and the title song.
Written by Paul Sirett (Come Dancing, The Big Life) and directed by Graeae’s artistic director Jenny Sealey, Reasons to be Cheerful was first seen at the New Wolsey and the Theatre Royal Stratford East in autumn 2010.
Dury, who died in 2000, was a patron and supporter of Graeae, which champions accessibility and provides a platform for disabled artists.
The show, which is billed as “part gig, part play”, is performed by a cast of 13 actors and musicans, including Stephen Lloyd, Stephen Collins, Nadia Albina, Karen Spicer and Garry Robson.
After opening in Ipswich on 9 February, Reasons to be Cheerful will subsequently visit Cornwall, Hull, Watford, Dundee, Hackney and Nottingham.
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