22 Jul 2014 Press Release



 “Wherever we are in 25 years, we’ll come back and create the B side

From Thursday 4 to Saturday 27 September 2014, Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre presents the World Premiere of their brand new musical MIDSUMMER SONGS by Peter Rowe and Ben Goddard. The full cast of actor-musicians has been announced today.

Twenty-five years ago a group of friends celebrated the end of their university careers with a wild week in a barn half-way up a mountain in West Wales. A week of madness, mayhem and music, recorded on a C90 cassette and buried in a biscuit tin at the top of a hill with a pledge – “Wherever we are in twenty-five years’ time we’ll come back here on Midsummer’s Eve and create the B side”. Now we see those old friends return, a little rounder, and a bit more rueful but with their passion for life, love and music still smouldering inside. As the biscuit tin gives up its secrets, old passions catch fire, past resentments return and the songs begin to fly. Will this reunion change their lives? Will the album ever be finished? And what on earth can they play that cassette on?

From the theatre that brought you Our House, 20th Century Boy, Mods and Rox and It’s a Wonderful Life, this brand new musical is a celebration of friendship, survival and the power of song, and written especially for a company of multi-skilled actor-musicians in the New Wolsey house style.

The full cast includes: ALEX BOURNE who has recently starred in Kiss Me Kate in Chichester and The Old Vic directed by New Wolsey Patron Trevor Nunn, and was nominated for an Olivier and WhatsOnStage.com award, plus credits including Daryl in The Witches of Eastwick (Watermill), Buddy Holly in Buddy (The Victoria Palace), Dean Martin in The Rat Pack (The Strand), and Khashoggi in We Will Rock You (The Dominion) which he played for 6 years; YVETTE ROBINSON whose credits include Bare (Union Theatre), Marguerite (Tabard Theatre), Tomorrow Morning ( Landor Theatre), and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre);  JANE MILLIGAN who has most recently appeared at the Novello Theatre in Mamma Mia playing Rosie. Other credits include Return to the Forbidden Planet, From a Jack to a King and Craig Revel Horwood’s award-winning production Spend Spend Spend; GLENN CARTER who performed the role of Tommy De Vito in the Original London Cast of Jersey Boys at The Prince Edward Theatre, and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Lyceum Theatre, West End, a role which he then played to great acclaim on Broadway, for which he received a “Most Outstanding Performance in a Musical” award from the Drama League; PETER PEVERLEY who has worked with the RSC long ensemble in As You Like It, The Comedy Of Errors, and Romeo And Juliet, as well as Peter Rowe’s rock’n’roll pantomimes for City Varieties Leeds; ADAM KEAST whose recent roles include Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night for the re-opening of the Liverpool Everyman, Brian Epstein in Lennon (Royal Court Liverpool), Forbidden Planet and Sweet Charity (Oldham Coliseum); PHYLIP HARRIES returns to the New Wolsey having previously played Pseudolous in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and most recently enjoyed a successful run of Tom – The Story of Tom Jones for Theatr na n’Og playing the narrator Jack Lister; HANNAH JARRETT-SCOTT whose credits include Lockerbie: Lost Voices (Elements World Theatre), Violet in The Place Between Sleeping (Ineffect/Strange Town), and The Hag/Maid in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh).

With music described to be like the ballads of Joni Mitchell and the feel good summer fun of Mumford & Sons, the New Wolsey’s Artistic Director, writer and director Peter Rowe says of creating the show with Ben Goddard: “It all started when we wrote a song called Angel of Soho for a show called Mods and Rox and decided we should write a full musical together. It’s the first thing I’ve written that doesn’t involve a pantomime fairy tale or a dead rock star – an original story that talks about what concerns us in the middle of our lives – written for a company of seasoned and experienced actor-musicians who have worked with Ben and me at various stages of our own journeys. Midsummer Songs is an opportunity to celebrate the talent of these singers and songsmiths, and to explore what matters most, when there’s more road already travelled than left up ahead”

Tickets are on sale now and can be booked through the Tickets Sales Team by calling 01473 295900 or by booking online at www.wolseytheatre.co.uk where there is the option to live chat with the team should you have any further questions.