December 13 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Major investment in Ipswich centre pub
One of Ipswich town centres most attractive buildings, the Rep pub and restaurant is open again after a major refurbishment.
And live entertainment is back on the menu.
The Rep, formerly the town’s repertory theatre, in Tower Street, became a pub after the band new Wolsey Theatre was built.
The historic building provided some great entertainment over the years and I remember some superb plays and comedies and live shows, including Jasper Carrott singing Funky Moped, before it closed and the brand new Wolsey Theatre replaced it.
The building’s early life was as a lecture theatre, as part of the Liberal Party’s campaign for the education of the working man.
Charles Dickens is known to have given readings from the stage, perhaps of Pickwick Papers with its Ipswich references?
In the 1920s it was Poole’s Picture House, a cinema that eventually closed in the 1930s when it couldn’t compete with the larger cinemas in the town.
A group of local people got together to try and open a repertory theatre in the town, and after fundraising and a public meeting in the town hall, work started on the building in 1947, eventually opening in the October with a performance of While the Sun Shines by Terence Rattigan,
The Ipswich Arts Theatre began providing entertainment for the town and over the decades offered everything from Romeo and Juliet to Captain Pugwash.
It has more recently been known as The Old Rep, and now just The Rep.
Now owners Greene King have made a major investment and it has re-opened again ready for the run up to Christmas.
The new look is plush and luxurious, including chandeliers, and retains many of its original features.
While remaining in keeping with the former theatre’s character, a six figure sum investment has seen the pub’s main bar area extended, new comfortable furniture installed and the décor has been transformed.
The Greene King pub’s live music and comedy events will also benefit from the installation of a new lighting and music system.
Cask ale fans will see more choice on the bar with at least five taps serving locally brewed ales, alongside well-known Greene King brands.
The town centre pub’s team has been joined by six new team members as well as new manager, Ross McCrickerd and assistant manager, Ollie Tueten.
Pub manager Ross, said: “I am very proud of our great value food and daily deals and these, combined with our fabulous new look will appeal to all. This is truly an amazing pub and I am sure our customers will enjoy the comfortable interior, great offers and of course, the excellent live entertainment.”
Richard Lewis, managing director for Greene King Local Pubs said: “It is always exciting when the doors to a newly transformed pub are once again opened to the public.
“This is a huge change to The Rep, but one I am sure the local people of Ipswich will thoroughly endorse.”