Ipswich hotfoots it back to the 80s this Autumn with the New Wolsey Theatre’s co-production of Footloose, in the film’s 40th anniversary year, joining a packed line-up of entertainment

17 Apr 2024 News, Press Release, Shows

The New Wolsey Theatre is delighted to be working in partnership with Pitlochry Festival Theatre to stage a spectacular new production of the explosive musical Footloose, which headlines an exciting programme of shows for audiences at the Ipswich venue this Autumn. 


Based on the hit 1980s film, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, and directed by the New Wolsey Theatre’s Chief Executive/Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul, Footloose comes to Ipswich from 3-26 October 2024, following its première at Pitlochry Festival Theatre this summer. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated Top Forty score, and elevated with dynamic new songs, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people while guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind. 

There is the chance to catch the hottest new musical theatre writing throughout the season with OVO and Norwich Theatre’s sexy, darkly funny and deeply moving The Highwayman, Rifco Theatre’s uproarious immersive DJ bromance set in Southall Pali and Jay’s Ultimate Asian Wedding DJ Roadshow, and Breach’s After The Act – A Section 28 Musical a 1980’s-inspired musical about pride, protest…and abseiling lesbians. 

Other great nights out, from stand-up comedy and live music to classic drama, include Table Manners by Alan Ayckbourn, Murder For Two, Deaf Awakening, Rave On, The Comedy Store Players, Ronnie Scott’s Allstar’s The Ronnie Scott Story, Rush, The Parson’s Pirate’s, Buffy Revamped, Srishti Pathways, Mi Flamenco’s Echoes and Dom Joly’s The Conspiracy Tour. Littles ones can look forward to Luna Loves Library Day, You Choose based on the popular book series, and Five Little Ducks created by New Wolsey Theatre associate artists Spinning Wheel Theatre in partnership with the New Wolsey Theatre, Suffolk Libraries and the Angles Theatre, and taking place in the Ipswich Library. 

As previously announced, Sleeping Beauty will be given a rockin’ twist on a fairytale classic as it bursts onto the stage in this year’s spellbinding ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Panto from 22 November 2024 – 18 January 2025. The creative team of writer Vikki Stone and director Douglas Rintoul will team up once more. Packed with live rock and pop music, crazy characters and hysterical antics, the New Wolsey Theatre’s award-winning panto is sure to enchant audiences of all ages. The venue’s Panto Pay It Forward campaign will provide tickets to those who may otherwise miss out on the magic of panto. 

Beyond the stage, the New Wolsey Theatre’s dedication to community engagement shines through its Creative Communities initiatives, and throughout the Autumn it will continue to reach out to young people and communities across Ipswich and Suffolk. In 2023/24, the theatre delivered 236 youth theatre sessions, supported 21 community organisations to work with 1,000+ local people, and provided opportunities for 3,000+ Suffolk school children to access culture. To find out more, visit  https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/creative-communities/

Director and Chief Executive/Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre Douglas Rintoul said: “Building on our commitment to diversifying our programme we continue to expand our collaborative partnerships with top-tier theatres, esteemed companies, and independent artists locally and nationwide, ensuring an inclusive tapestry of exceptional live experiences for all. Join us as we continue our journey of delivering excellence, where every audience member finds their perfect theatrical match.”

Book online for the New Wolsey Theatre’s Spring Season 2024 shows at wolseytheatre.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01473 295900.  Tickets for the Autumn 2024 season go on general sale at 10am on Saturday 27 April with opportunities for members, schools, season ticket holders and groups to take advantage of priority booking from Thursday 18 April.  The season will include relaxed performances, touch tours, audio described, BSL interpreted and captioned performances as well as options to watch performances via livestream.