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Ipswich: Ip-art shows its metal with launch night fun

08:00 22 June 2013

Roger Eno and Rosie Toll at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O

Roger Eno and Rosie Toll at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'Neill

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What better way to start the Ip-arts Festiva’s massive programme of events for 2013 than an appearance by the massive, metal munching Iron Man.

The Mad March Hare Band at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'NeillThe Mad March Hare Band at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'Neill

Taller than a double decker bus, audiences packed on to Ipswich’s Orwell Quay for a performance of Ted Hughes’ classic children’s story.

“When he first turns up people are very afraid of him because he’s different,” said co-director Amit Sharma of Graeae Theatre Company, which places deaf and disabled artists centre stage.

“Whether you’re disabled or not you can always identify with that feeling of isolation, that’s what so great about this story - it’s family friendly, completely accessible and completely free.”

A co-production with the New Wolsey, there are shows at 11am, 2pm and 5pm today too.

The cast of The Iron Man at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'NeillThe cast of The Iron Man at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'Neill

“To do The Iron Man in Ipswich is fantastic,” said Stephen Collins, who plays Hogarth. “The response has been great, the kids love the Iron Man; it’s great seeing them smiling and shaking his hand after the show.”

Visitors to the Waterfront were also treated to a sound and sight digital installation at the Savills building featuring music written for Roger Eno and violinist Rosie Toll.

“I’m grateful to have been invited to open the festival,” said Eno. “John Rixon is an Ipswich resident video artist with whom I’ve worked in festivals here and abroad. He and Dom Theobald, another long-term associate, supplied the visual backdrops.”

Bookending the live performance was Eno’s recorded work Flood, which premiered in north Norfolk in 2008. It was the first time this version had been publicly performed.

Roger Eno and Rosie Toll at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'NeillRoger Eno and Rosie Toll at the launch of Ip-art 2013. Picture: Jen O'Neill

He can also be seen at Ipswich Film Theatre on July 1, live scoring Chaplin’s Gold Rush as part of Ip-art’s sister festival Switch Fringe.

Ip-art attracts more than 100,000 people every year, more than any other Suffolk festival.

Ipswich Borough Council’s culture portfolio holder Bryony Rudkin said: “Not only is Ip-art so successful, it also has many free events. Ipswich is multicultural – not only in terms of population and communities but also in terms of the sheer range of cultural events captured in this fabulous fortnight.

“We have some favourites, Ipswich Music Day and the Indian Mela. We have new delights - a big top in Christchurch Park, Brian Blessed on stage with Laura Wright; I’m sure Brian will not need a microphone.

“We also have Sherlock Holmes in the park, silent cinema and art historian John Sheeran’s much-awaited lecture on Constable in the Wolsey Gallery... in short, we have something for everyone.”

Running to July 7, visit our Ip-art section for a full run-down of this year’s events.

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