Ipswich: Gallery Players reach for the Stars with Galileo at the New Wolsey

Galileo, a new musical by Martin Waddington, being given its world premiere at the New Wolsey Theatr

Galileo, a new musical by Martin Waddington, being given its world premiere at the New Wolsey Theatre by the Gallery Players, starring Steve Taplin as Galileo. Photos: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

Leading Suffolk amateur theatre company The Gallery Players are exploring the human cost of genius as they stage the world premiere of Galileo – a new musical from the pen of former Wolsey musical director Martin Waddington.

Galileo at the New Wolsey Theatre by the Gallery Players

Galileo at the New Wolsey Theatre by the Gallery Players - Credit: Archant

It’s a show which brings together sparkling West End music with a dramatic and very human story. It looks at what happens to the family of Galileo when he contradicts the teachings of the church and finds himself before the dreaded Inquisition.

His daughter Virginia finds her forthcoming marriage called off and Galileo himself faces excommunication – all because he can prove the Earth is not the centre of the universe and instead the planets revolve around the sun.

Director Helen Clarke said: “It’s a show which brings to the stage all the romance and brilliance of Renaissance Italy – from its court masques, bustling markets and travelling players, to the shadowy heart of the Vatican and the full splendour of a Papal coronation.”

For Waddington, who is musical director, it’s a welcome return to a theatre where he spent 10 happy years.


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“It’s wonderful the Wolsey is still here and continues to go from strength to strength as it was a powerhouse of production in the 1980s when they did two or three musicals a year. It says something about the Ipswich theatre-going public because to continue that musical tradition into the modern age is quite something.

“I really do think theatre and music are two of the few things that keep us sane.”

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Galileo continues at The New Wolsey Theatre today, tomorrow and Saturday.

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