New Wolsey premieres ‘magical’ video from StoryLine project

Jobs may be lost at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out its i

Jobs may be lost at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out its income Picture: CARL LAMB - Credit: Archant

The New Wolsey Theatre, currently closed because of the Coronavirus restrictions, has turned its creative talents from producing work for the stage to coming up with its own lockdown short movie.

Scrubs, a six minute film, tells the story of a seamstress who sews magical garments and who finds her calling in the midst of a pandemic. It’s the New Wolsey’s first creative project based on work submitted to their StoryLine initiative by a member of the public.

The video combines animation with music and narration and was put together by technical manager Peter Hazelwood and head of creative learning Tony Casement.

Scrubs, written by Suffolk seamtress Heidi McEvoy-Swift, has been based on her experience of lockdown and of her participation in the work of the Facebook group ‘Sew Scrubs for West Suffolk Hospital.’

Heidi says: ”I began making scrubs when I saw the post from Sew Scrubs for West Suffolk Hospital Facebook page and contacted them. They were co-ordinating fabric and pattern distribution and I knew I could contribute time and skill so I did…

“A friend described the story as ‘a contemporary fable’ and that’s about the sum of it. A moment in time and space that was true to me as I wrote it and hopefully resonates with anyone else who found themselves making scrubs, or reinventing their work during lockdown.

“I love the way Tony and Pete presented it as a big thank you to the NHS; that makes it really special to me.”

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Volunteers have been using their time at home to stitch together various items of clothing and textile equipment to support NHS and healthcare workers for West Suffolk Foundation Trust, in partnership with WISH.

Tony Casement said that the heroism and quiet courage of these healthcare workers is woven delicately into the story, showing the extent to which they are inspiring the world, both emotionally and creatively.

StoryLine is a project that the New Wolsey Theatre started at the beginning of lockdown, wanting to keep its community of theatregoers and creatives connected and to keep ideas flowing. Open to the public, StoryLine is a dedicated phone line where people are invited to call 01473 760799 and leave a message. It could be anything from a short story or a poem to how you are feeling during lockdown, or even a secret you have never told anyone else. It is an opportunity not only to get creative but to inspire future artistic projects.

Callers will have approximately two minutes to tell their story, which will then be listened to by the New Wolsey Creative Learning team and potentially used for a project. For those who would prefer to email, writing can also be sent to