New Wolsey Theatre announces Arts Council England funding for 2018-2022

27 Jun 2017 Press Release

The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich are delighted to announce that its application to Arts Council England for National Portfolio funding has been successful, and it is to receive an uplift of 10% over the period 2018-2022.

The theatre will receive a total of £3,744,416 over the next four years, an increase of £332,304. This funding enables the New Wolsey to continue to grow its existing operation contributing to the goals set out in the Arts Council’s strategic framework Great Art for Everyone.

Sarah Holmes, Chief Executive has said: “We’re thrilled to have received additional investment from Arts Council England to grow our existing work as a National Portfolio organisation. This uplift means we are able to fulfil our aims in the development of further engagement and inclusion by extending our current practises to increase customer loyalty, and through more digital platforms. We will be building on the successes of our Communications and Creative Learning teams by increasing resources to create new pathways for audiences to engage with us, to enable deeper involvement between the community and programming, to develop brand new digital work that extends our reach to new platforms, and to be able to tell our story through a digital archive for years to come. The landscape of the Ipswich community is constantly shifting, and we’re excited to be able to follow these changes using this investment.”

The last three years has seen work produced by the New Wolsey Theatre developed alongside partners nationally and regionally:

The Pulse Festival has been programmed in collaboration with Festival Directors China Plate, (now in the NPO portfolio), which has seen the festival become a concise and explorative platform for artists to springboard new work and present touring work that is currently on the festival circuit.

Regionally, the New Wolsey Theatre has been involved in improving collaborative strategies with local arts companies to create We Are Ipswich –an alliance between leading creative companies in Ipswich uniting to show the world what talent, creativity and top quality work is being made in Ipswich and Suffolk, creating jobs, and with an aim to attract revenue for the town.

In 2016, the New Wolsey Theatre joined forces with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Sheffield Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company to form the Arts Council funded Strategic Touring consortium Ramps on the Moon. The last two years have seen UK tours of Gogol’s The Government Inspector and The Who’s Tommy, which have both embedded the work of D/deaf and disabled performers and creatives, worked to increase opportunities for D/deaf and disabled audiences and participants.

In Autumn 2017, the New Wolsey’s Creative Learning department will tour a new production for secondary schools Who to Follow, a multi-agency intervention scheme that is to be delivered in partnership with Ipswich high schools. This theatrical installation will present four independent stories concerning drugs misuse, each relating to a young person’s experience, but from different perspectives. The project is part funded by Suffolk County Council and the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Grant Scheme.

So, what’s coming up this next at the New Wolsey Theatre?

This autumn sees the New Wolsey Theatre co-produce a new production of Graham Linehan’s The Ladykillers, which will tour to Salisbury Playhouse and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and directed by Artistic Director Peter Rowe, a brand new punk musical Oxy & the Morons featuring original songs by The Alarm, another brand new legendary rock’n’roll pantomime Red Riding Hood, and visiting tours from Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful, ETT’s Rules for Living, and Original Theatre’s Wait Until Dark.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About the New Wolsey Theatre

With a 400 seat main auditorium, and 100 seat studio, the New Wolsey Theatre is nationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its productions. Recent musical revivals have included an actor-musician version of Sweet Charity, Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, and Made in Dagenham in co-production with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. They have joined forces with six other mid-scale theatres and Graeae to create Ramps on the Moon, an Arts Council funded strategic touring project, with the aim of increasing the engagement and participation of D/deaf and disabled actors, artists and audiences. 2017 saw their own production of The Who’s Tommy open in Ipswich before embarking on a national tour.

As a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity, they are funded by the Arts Council England, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council as well as through the invaluable donations, individual giving and corporate support of their many friends, patrons and sponsors.

Artistic Director: Peter Rowe

Chief Executive: Sarah Holmes