New Wolsey unveils The Ladykillers for their autumn season

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK - Credit: Archant

The regional premiere of an Ealing Comedy classic and the revival of a much-loved New Wolsey musical form the cornerstone of the Ipswich theatre’s autumn season – along with a brand new rock’n’roll pantomime.

Graeae Theatre Company staging a revival of Reasons To Be Cheerful atthe New Wolsey Theatre. Picture

Graeae Theatre Company staging a revival of Reasons To Be Cheerful atthe New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: PATRICK BALDWIN - Credit: Patrick Baldwin

Father Ted scriptwriter and comedy legend Graham Linehan has penned a new adaptation of the Ealing classic The Ladykillers – which, on screen, combined the talents of Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbet Lom and little old lady Katie Johnson.

When Mrs Wilberforce puts a sign in her newsagent’s window advertising ‘A Room to Let’, she’s delighted when the mysterious Professor Marcus proclaims it perfect for rehearsing his unorthodox string quintet. She soon discovers that she is not making tea for a motley band of musicians, but harbouring a hardened gang of criminals and conmen planning the great Kings Cross Train Robbery. The new stage version will be directed by the New Wolsey’s artistic director Peter Rowe and produdced in collaboration with Salisbury Playhouse and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch who combined their talents to produce Chris Chibnall’s Worst Wedding Ever this Spring.

The Ladykillers will open the autumn season and will run from September 7-30.

Musicals play an important role in the autumn line-up. Graeae Theatre Company’s Reasons To Be Cheerful makes a welcome return to the New Wolsey, from October 3-7, after its hugely successful tour in 2012. This coming of age tale rejoices in the infectious and enduring music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Featuring stone-cold classic songs including Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; What A Waste and the titular Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3), this show is loud, bold and jubilant. The show was developed as a collaboration between Graeae and the New Wolsey Theatre. Both are members of the consortium Ramps on the Moon.

Following on from this, from October 12-21, the New Wolsey will present the premiere of a brand new punk musical Oxy & The Morons, written by Paul Sirett (Reasons to be Cheerful, Mods and Rox), Mike Peters (The Alarm) and Steve Allan Jones.

When a routine check-up leads to a startling diagnosis, Andy decides it’s time to put the band back together, to crank up the amps, and party like its 1978! Why not re-form the legendary Oxy & the Morons, who burned fiercely before exploding in a riot of rivalry, jealousy and bitter betrayal? Andy’s mission involves twisting arms, healing wounds and putting his family and friendships back together. But can that punk spirit of DIY defiance be-rekindled over thirty years later? Can you still pogo when your knees go? Will they play their trademark punk take of Its Not Unusual as an encore?

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This brand new musical is fast, furious and very funny. With a machine gun playlist of original songs, this affectionate look back at the days of teen spirit suggest we could all do with some of that garage band power right now.

For those wanting drama then from October 30 to November 4, the New Wolsey will be playing host to Rules For Living, a new production of Sam Holcroft’s darkly funny play following a critically acclaimed run at the National Theatre in 2015. It is brought to the stage by English Touring Theatre and Royal & Derngate Northampton. Everyone creates their own rules for living. But what happens when an extended family gathers for a traditional Christmas dinner, and each of them rigidly follows those rules? Christmas day will never be the same again. As the drinks flow and the obligatory games intensify, family resentments rise and relationships are pulled apart with a bang – like oh so many Christmas crackers.

Then the main season signs off with a major revival of the classic, edge of your seat, thriller Wait Until Dark which runs from November 6-11. Set amidst the social turbulence of 60’s London the play follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman who left alone in her apartment becomes embroiled with a group of conmen hatching an elaborate scam. Wait Until Dark, made into a film starring Audrey Hepburn in 1967, is often ranked as one of the top 100 scariest films of all time and this exciting new production reclaims it for the stage.

Then, for the Christmas season, Peter Rowe has come up with another brand new rock’n’roll panto Red Riding Hood which opens on November 23 and runs until January 27 2018. Early booking is advised.

The season will go on sale to Friends on Sat April 1, and on general sale on Sat April 15. Tickets can be booked by calling 01473 295900 or by booking online at