Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

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.

The award-winning writer and star of TV comedy Detectorists has spoken of his love for the “beautiful” Suffolk town where it was filmed and his “mixed emotions” over fans’ reaction to its ending.

John Bishop’s back with Winging It, his first national tour in three years. Selling out arenas across the UK, extra dates have been added, including several in Ipsswich and Southend. We found out more.

Do you run out of things to do at the weekend? Check out our guide for inspiration, here is what’s happening on January 20 and 21.

The first Folk on a Boat concert of 2018 is being held in Ipswich on Friday, with Suffolk singer/songwriter Holly Johnston performing.

Award-winning crime author Elly Griffiths will be visiting three Suffolk libraries next month as part of a tour promoting her latest book.

Did your favourite show make the list?

Not many seven-year-old girls can say they feature in their very own music video.

Have you ever wished that you were born early enough to have been part of Bobby Robson’s FA Cup winning side in May 1978? Well you don’t have to jump aboard the TARDIS or fall through a wormhole in time, you can just audition to take part in a new dance-led reconstruction of Ipswich Town’s history-making victory at Wembley.

Movies that tell a good story and have engaging characters provide that all-important re-watch value necessary for a great film. Arts editor Andrew Clarke presents a series of idiosyncratic suggestions for movies which may entertain if you are in the mood for something different.

From Richard Attenborough’s excellent Young Winston (1972) to Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill (2017), Winston Churchill has been the subject of countless historical dramas and biopics that have dealt with various stages of the near-mythical figure’s life.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24