Wolsey Studio thriving not closing

IT'S not closing.That was the message from the New Wolsey Theatre today after inaccurate reports in other media speculated that the Wolsey Studio, in St George's Street, Ipswich, would be shutting for three years.

IT'S not closing.

That was the message from the New Wolsey Theatre today after inaccurate reports in other media speculated that the Wolsey Studio, in St George's Street, Ipswich, would be shutting for three years. In fact the studio is thriving as a rehearsal and performance space that is shared between the Ipswich theatre and DanceEast.

Only last week it was drawing in audiences to see the New Wolsey's production of Field, which had been written as part of its education programme, and next month it will provide a stage for Baking Time, a Christmas show for three to six year olds. DanceEast continue to use it for showcases, courses and rehearsals and it will also host next year's Pulse Festival.

Sharon Jenkins, marketing and press officer for the New Wolsey, slammed these false reports and said: "The Wolsey Studio is not set for closure and has been used very actively since the main house reopened. It was at that point that DanceEast became resident. They share the space with us 50-50 and we both use it for rehearsals and performances.

"We're gradually introducing shows into the studio to investigate it as a performance base and see how shows work there. It will help us in deciding and planning its long term future."

Chief executive Sarah Holmes added: "We've been delighted to have this developing partnership with DanceEast creating opportunities for the two organisations to work together to share ambitions and artistic collaboration.

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"It's well known that DanceEast are looking to relocate to an exciting new facility on the waterfront but their departure from the studio will not be the end of our collaborative relationship with them. There will be an exciting opportunity for new development for the use of the studio."

The studio was faced by problems several years ago but they are being ironed out as the New Wolsey Theatre continues to wallow in its new lease of life.

Ms Jenkins added: "The studio had been a drain on resources before the old Wolsey Theatre company went into liquidation and because of that we are being very careful planning how the space is going to be used in the future. But that's got to be a positive thing.

"We know what a lovely space it is. It needs to be used and it will be."

n For information about performances planned for the studio contact the New Wolsey Theatre on 01473 295900 or DanceEast on 01473 639230.

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