Hayden Carpenter - February 2012
The Graeae production of Reasons to be Cheerful describes the life of a young adult called Vinnie (Stephen Lloyd) and his friends in the politically troublesome times of 1979 and their difficult quest to get tickets to a gig by Ian Drury and the Blockheads at the London Hammersmith Apollo.
Glen Pearce - 15th February 2012
A true measure of the success of any musical based on the back catalogue of an artist is if someone unfamiliar with that music can still enjoy the show. While fans of Ian Dury and The Blockheads will undoubtedly revel in the nostalgia of Graeae Theatre's Reasons To Be Cheerful, even those unfamiliar with his works will find much to warm the heart here.
It's 1979 and Dury is at the height of his fame. Tickets for his concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon are like gold dust, not much comfort for fans Vinnie and Colin, a couple of shop assistants in a Southend supermarket. Colin knows every single fact about Dury and, for Vinnie, the opportunity of taking his terminally ill father to the concert is the one thing he feels he can do to make a difference.
Andrew Clarke - 15th February 2012
Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll at the New Wolsey
Reasons To Be Cheerful, by Paul Sirett with music by Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Graeae Theatre Company and New Wolsey Theatre, until Saturday February 18
There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful if you catch this gloriously infectious show at the New Wolsey in Ipswich. The energy that rockets off the stage is simply breathtaking.
Add to that the rambunctious nature of Dury's music and the audience is immediately transported back to 1979 and a world on the verge of huge social change.
The word ‘genius’ is often overused but seldom is it so apt than in describing Ian Dury. Not only was he a singer with a welter of hits with his band The Blockheads but also an actor, playwright, artist and one of the finest wordsmiths this country has ever seen.
I'm not sure that this is the way to say thank you - but just wanted to say what a fabulous show "reasons to be cheerful" is...
Paul Sirett’s new musical production REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL took to the stage at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich (14-16 October) before moving on to Theatre Royal Stratford East (22 October-13 November).