Following a hugely successful run in Ipswich and London in 2010, Graeae and the New Wolsey Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Reasons To Be Cheerful will hit the road in Spring 2012. Kicking off a 1633 mile national tour on 9 February at the New Wolsey Theatre, the show will go on to play Cornwall, Hull, Watford, Dundee, Hackney and Nottingham.
Written by Paul Sirett and directed by Graeae’s Artistic Director Jenny Sealey, this high-energy coming of age tale set in 1979 celebrates the infectious music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Featuring classic songs including Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; Spasticus Autisticus and the titular Reasons to be Cheerful, this new musical was first performed in Autumn 2010 at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Theatre Royal Stratford East.
As the original disabled activist and musician, Ian Dury was a patron, staunch supporter and advocate of Graeae. The extraordinary wit and wisdom of Dury’s music and lyrics are brought to life by an exceptional cast of 13 actors and musicans. Almost all of the company will reprise their roles for the 2012 UK Tour. Paula Faircloth will join the company on drums.
Part gig, part play, this gritty production is set in 1979 when Labour lost to the Tories, strikes rocked the nation, and Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) climbed the charts. Die-hard fans Vinnie and his mates are desperate to see Ian Dury and the Blockheads at the Hammersmith Odeon, except the gig sold out weeks ago. However life has a habit of throwing strange things at you, and one night of frustration becomes something else entirely…
Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre – breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage. Artistically led by Jenny Sealey, Graeae’s signature characteristic is the compelling creative integration of sign language and audio description, which engages brilliantly with both disabled and non-disabled audiences. Championing accessibility and providing a platform for new generations of artists, Graeae leads the way in pioneering, trail-blazing theatre.
Jenny Sealey has recently been appointed Co-Artistic Director of the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony 2012.
Reasons to be Cheerful will offer workshop programmes to groups that visit the show. Suitable for: Participants aged 14 and above. Workshops can be adapted to suit students at BTEC, Diploma, A Level, and Higher Education degree level. For more information, or to book a workshop please contact Nadine Renton on 020 7613 6900.
All performances include captioned dialogue, BSL-interpreted songs and audio description.