Triffids go to Edinburgh

EDINBURGH watch out! Ipswich is sending the Triffids your way.The man-eating plants are coming courtesy of the New Wolsey Theatre which has today announced that this year – and for the first time ever – it will be taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

By Jo Macdonald

Entertainment editor

joanne.macdonald@eveningstar.co.uk

EDINBURGH watch out! Ipswich is sending the Triffids your way.

The man-eating plants are coming courtesy of the New Wolsey Theatre which has today announced that this year – and for the first time ever – it will be taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The theatre's in-house production of The Day of the Triffids, which opens in Ipswich tomorrow night has secured funding to travel to the prestigious event in August where it will enjoy a three week run at the Assembly Rooms, one of the festival's better known venues.

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Everyone involved in the production of John Wyndham's classic science fiction tale is thrilled with the news that the New Wolsey has at last been given the opportunity to spread its theatrical wings.

New Wolsey artistic director and co-director of the show Peter Rowe said: "It's another important part of all the work we do to raise the profile of the theatre nationally. It's a chance for producers and theatregoers to see our wares.

"We want to push our work further afield from here and get a wider audience and a higher profile. Because we're proud of what happens here we think it deserves that national recognition."

The Day of the Triffids, which is being produced in association with Company Gavin Robertson, is thought to be the first ever stage adaptation of Wyndham's novel.

It tells the story of a world in which most of the population have been blinded by a meteor shower and of the struggle of a biologist and a young writer to help rebuild their community before flesh-eating Triffids can kill humanity.

Though the play will have to be adapted from its New Wolsey form to suit the Assembly Rooms and its festival audience, Peter added: "It's a show particularly suited to the festival kind of environment.

"It's a combination of a well-known story, a new adaptation and a new style of telling that story in a physical theatre language suited to the Edinburgh market."

Staging a show at Edinburgh is not cheap however and as such the New Wolsey is grateful to the Arts Council England East which is funding The Day of the Triffids' journey to Scotland as part of its East To Edinburgh initiative.

Sarah Holmes, chief executive of the Civic Drive theatre, said: "The Arts Council is keen to raise the profile of work made in the east and has a scheme whereby it supports new companies in being in Edinburgh.

"This will be our first time there and I'm keen to go because I want to put Ipswich more on the map for more people. We want everyone to know how wonderful we are and where better to do that than somewhere with such an extremely high profile.

"However, we wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of the Arts Council because it's an expensive thing to do. It's hats off to them for putting shed loads of dosh at companies."

The Day of the Triffids is just one of a number of productions from the east of England to receive Arts Council funding. Other companies from across the region will gain similar assistance.

As well as financial support, the Arts Council will also aid with raising the profile East To Edinburgh production's in print and with the help of a dedicated press officer.

n The Day of the Triffids opens at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich tomorrow night. It will be at the Assembly Rooms during the Edinburgh Festival from August 6 to 29.

Weblink: www.edfringe.com

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