New Wolsey Ipswich birthday season includes The Last Five Years and Sweeney Todd

14. Sweeney ToddIpswich’s New Wolsey Theatre will be celebrating its 15th birthday next year with a spring season that includes a revival of the production that marked its reopening in 2001, Sweeney Todd.

The Sondheim classic is one of a series of major productions featured in a packed anniversary season that will begin on 25 February 2016 with The Last Five Years, the musical by Jason Robert Brown that also premiered in Chicago in the same year as the New Wolsey reopened.

The musical which was recently made into a major film featuring the star of the hit Pitch Perfect movies, Anna Kendrick, focuses on a tempestuous love affair between an actress and a novelist.

The New Wolsey’s version will star Katie Birtill, who took the title role in Sweet Charity last autumn, along with a talented live band. The production will be directed by the New Wolsey Theatre’s artistic director Peter Rowe and will run until 11 March.

The critically acclaimed New Wolsey Young Company’s reworking of Sweeney Todd under the direction of the New Wolsey Theatre’s associate director Rob Salmon will run from 12 to 23 April.

1. The Last Five YearsThe season’s other musical highlight is set to be Laila: The Musical, the new contemporary piece from Rifco, the creators of the award-winning Britain’s Got Bhangra, which will play the New Wolsey from 23 to 30 April.

Non-musical productions featuring in the programme include Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Government Inspector (6–16 April); A Raisin in the Sun, a co-production between Eclipse Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Sheffield Theatres (17–20 February); Birdsong Productions’ Shadowlands in association with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (14-19 March); the Original Theatre Company’s new production of Torben Bett’s Invincible (19-23 April); Lotty’s War (3-7 May); London Classic Theatre’s production of The Birthday Party (10-14 May); and the Sell A Door Theatre Company’s presentation of James and the Giant Peach (17-21 May).

Angela Thomas


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