Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C


Review: Reasons To Be Cheerful, by Paul Sirett, Graeae Theatre Company, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich until October 7

PUBLISHED: 17:39 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:39 05 October 2017

Graeae Theatre Company staging a revival of Reasons To Be Cheerful atthe New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: PATRICK BALDWIN

Graeae Theatre Company staging a revival of Reasons To Be Cheerful atthe New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: PATRICK BALDWIN

© Patrick Baldwin 2010. All rights reserved.

Graeae urges us to “raise a glass to good times” and then some with the bawdy and brilliant Reasons To Be Cheerful, a musical packed with the iconoclastic back catalogue of Ian Dury and The Blockheads.

A play with in a play, this jukebox musical reaches the places other shows can’t even touch. We time travel back to 1981 as Vinnie presents 1979. The Tories have won the election and the Blockheads- were playing sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon.

For Vinnie it’s a time to pay tribute to his dying father and as a fan of Ian Drury articulates the sweeping and epic way rock and roll is the soundtrack to our lives. It leaves its mark through the years, like a lovebite that refuses to disappear.

The excitement and energy of the music is powerfully realised by the disabled led company as is the political message throughout: John Kelly spitting out the BBC banned Spasticus contains more resonance now than ever. Beth Hinton Lever as Janine reclaims both the cockney rhyming “raspberry ripple” from her boyfriend, the vile Tory voting Fine Fare manager superbly played by Max Runham. She then goes onto completely own “Hit With Your Rhythm Stick” as it becomes an anthem of female sexual liberation.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, which started its theatrical life at the New Wolsey seven years ago, is a knees up to which we are all invited, bringing together the personal and political in a tribute to the society that Mrs Thatcher in the 80s would insist did not exist. There are still, moving moments as Bobby, Vinnie’s father, faces his last days and the touching friendship between to Vinnie and Colin underpin a simple narrative, but this is the stuff real life is made of.

As the audience stood and cheered this show there is no doubt Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll is still alive and well in Ipswich.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Dan Needham from North Norfolk had two strokes in the space of a week and has navigated a difficult path to recovery. He’s the stand-out star in an episode of BBC2’s The Secret Helpers where he enlists the support of strangers to help him cope with his wedding day to sweetheart Suzanne.

Dan Needham’s life was turned upside-down by two sneezes which tore an artery in his neck and led to two strokes and a long road to recovery. Now he’s facing a new challenge on a BBC show which offers people facing difficulties a host of secret advice.

Youthful rebellion is nothing new, Teddy, a new high energy musical from Snapdragon Productions and Watermill Theatre, explodes onto the New Wolsey stage telling the story of Josie and Teddy and the social forces which shaped the teenage revolution and post-war Britain.

Check out our top spots in East Anglia to indulge in fresh waffles.

Whether appearing in front of or behind the camera, filmmaker and stuntman Nash Edgerton has long established himself as a formidable talent within the film industry.

A fair number of hardy souls braved the wintry conditions and attended this unique production.

After a great first year, the Great Garden Trail returns with even more gardens to explore across Suffolk.

Three very different giants of the music world will take Suffolk by storm later this year.

The former family home of famed Nineteen Eighty-Four author George Orwell in Southwold is set to get a fresh plaque in honour of his literary legacy.

Outrageous, inappropriate and downright hilarious - this is possibly the funniest show I have ever seen at the Theatre Royal.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24