Theatre News

New shows and new faces at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre this spring

There should be something for all manner of theatre-goers in the recently inveiled New Wolsey Theatre season.

promotionl image for Feed The Beast
promotionl image for Feed The Beast
© Crown Copyright

Headlining the 2015 spring season at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre is a co-partnership between the theatre – whose artistic director Peter Rowe will direct the production – and Birmingham Repertory Company. Steve Thompson's Feed The Beast is a new drama examining the relationship between the Press and politicians.

It premieres in Birmingham in April and transfers to the New Wolsey between 6 and 16 May. Preceding that production is a new production, also a collaboration, by Talawa Theatre Company of Arthur Miller's All My Sons from 12 to 21 February and a follow-up to last year's Pulse investigation into clothes manufacture – METIS' World Factory (23 to 30 April).

A new show for teenagers and adults with learning difficulties, their companions and carers is The Foerst, created by Frozen Light in association with the New Wolsey. it promises to be a multi-sensory affair on 22 and 23 May.

The theatre has also appointed its first two Agents for Change – Amy Nettleton and Jamie Beddard who will be working with the Creative Learning team as well as the Artistic and Programming teams.

The aim is to increase participation in the performing arts by those with disabilities of various kinds and to make the theatre equally welcoming to various types of audiences. Its pioneering work in this respect has already been nationally recognised and these appointments will build further awareness.

Associate company Graeae brings its co-production of Blood Wedding to the New Wolsey from with Derby Theatre and Dundee Rep from 14 to 16 April. Touring Suffolk's schools in February will be associate director Rob Salmon's When I Grow Up; a production generated by the Creative Learning team.

Back in Ipswich, guest productions this spring include Sign of the Times by Tim Firth (24-28 February) in a new Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal production, Oldham Coliseum's spooky thriller Mist in the Mirror based by Ian Kershaw on a Susan Hill novel (3-7 March) and William Gaminara's The Three Lions – a comedy of "diplomacy in action" involving Prince William, David Cameron and David Beckham the night before England's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Sell A Door Theatre Company stage their new production of Alan Bennett's The History Boys from 23 to 28 March as part of a national tour. Crossing the Thames from Newbury's Watermill Theatre is an adaptation by Sarah Punshon and Johann Hari of Agatha Christie's The Secret Anniversary.

It launches the 125th commemoration of Christie's birth – expect to encounter many other productions based on her stories during 2015. Middle Ground Theatre Company returns between 18 and 23 May with Richard Harris' The Business of Murder.

The season will mark the conclusion of the Arts Council England Strategic Touring Funded project Young Theatre Makers, with one production from Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and another from the New Wolsey, both of which will tour venues in Suffolk. The project is in partnership with both venues and Birmingham Rep. The plays are Half Baked and Births, Deaths and Marriages.

In the meantime, Board chairman David Edwards steps down on 10 December to be succeeded by Richard Lister, provost of University Campus Suffolk and currently the Board's vice-chairman. These are purely voluntary non-paid posts, held by people with a commitment to theatre as well as to the City of Ipswich itself.