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The New Wolsey Theatre


New Wolsey Theatre

It is likely you may have never made the journey to the New Wolsey from the waterfront but today I am going to tell why it is worth the trip! You may believe that the theatre is beyond your budget, but the theatre offers more than just shows!

Is it affordable?

The theatre strives for accessibility, ticket prices are kept low, audio described performances are available, as are spaces for wheelchair users in the auditorium. Students can benefit from the under 26 discounted tickets which cost only £12, I highly recommend you take advantage of this offer while you can. I have used this discount to see a haunting re-telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, to see the touring comedy The Time Machine and the hilarious improv group The Comedy Store (who will be returning the theatre this June!).

If plays and musicals aren’t your thing you can always grab a coffee from the café and use the free WiFi to study. I recommend the upstairs seating as it is really pretty!

What does the theatre do?

Apart from the obvious, staging plays, both touring shows and Wolsey originals, the New Wolsey is also a wonderful community hub. In February my fellow curious creative writing students and I had the amazing opportunity to be shown around the theatre backstage and were told what it takes to run and theatre. If I learnt one thing – It's not easy! But the theatre has done much more than extend a welcoming hand to eager university students.

Warm spaces - Throughout the winter the New Wolsey did their bit to help those struggling to keepup with the high cost of heating a home by acting as a ‘warm space’ where once a week members of the public could keep warm.

Youth theatre classes - Theatre has undeniable roots in classism but the Wolsey actively works against this. To make their youth theatre classes accessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds they offer means tested and bursary places. The performing arts are often considered a luxury, so it is really nice to know that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to get involved with drama.

Nurture local talent - When putting on their own plays the theatre also likes to support local talent. The play DNA that ran in February, for example, recruited actors from Suffolk and East Anglia.

The Rock’n’Roll Panto

The Christmas Panto is hugely popular every year. This year we get to see Dick Whittington and His Cat. Tickets went on sale on the 1st of April, and a staggering 5000 were sold on the first day alone! Seats for the Panto are always in high demand so you can never book too far in advance! The show is written by Vicki Stone, an award-winning writer, composer and comedian (sounds promising already!) and is on from late November to early January.

How can you support the New Wolsey?

There are multiple ways you can support the theatre, other than just watching the shows (though I recommend you do!)

Café - there is lovely café which offers coffee, tea and sweet treats open from 10 – 3.30 Tuesday to Saturday.

Podcast – the podcast covers all things theatre and each episode offers something new. It is available to listen to on spotify.

Donate – the theatre is registered charity and relies on ‘a variety of income streams’ including funding from the Arts Council and Suffolk County Council. One way to donate is to become a member (which comes with benefits!).

Book your next trip to the theatre

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