The Big Afternoon returns to the New Wolsey Theatre to kick off a sizzling summer season of entertainment ahead

21 May 2024 News, Press Release, Shows

The New Wolsey Theatre’s The Big Afternoon – a FREE event for all the family packed with live music, theatre, singing, dancing, a roaming magician, arts and crafts, and so much more – returns on Saturday 25 May from 2-4pm marking the start of a packed summer of shows. 

The New Wolsey Theatre is delighted to be partnering with a number of professional performers, and community groups to bring together a day of free art, culture and fun for all. The Black Eagles acrobatic group are back headlining by popular demand, joined by ‘Suffolk’s Unofficial Poet Laureate’ Dean Parkin, Ipswich singer-songwriter Sophie the Great, Norwich magician and mind-reader David Whitney, Ipswich Romanian Community Ensemble, Dance Folks (Indian Folk Dance), Yogability, Rock Paper Scissors, Synergy Cosplay & The Mix Stowmarket, Future Female Society and NHS Be Well Bus.

From hard-hitting drama to hilarious comedy, the New Wolsey Theatre has plenty to keep everyone happy. Presented by The New Wolsey Theatre, Colchester Mercury Theatre and High Tide in association with The Royal Exchange Theatre on 28 and 29 June, Bindweed is an award-winning, shattering and darkly funny new play about responsibility and rehabilitation by local playwright Martha Loader, looking at what can be done to tackle the endemic of abuse at its root. Other highlights include Rodreguez King-Dorset’s one-man political and social drama Windrush Secret on 30 May, Joe Orton’s manic farce and masterclass in fearless comic writing What The Butler Saw from 4-8 June, IODS Theatre Company’s exuberant musical comedy Sweet Charity from 10-13 July and D-Live Theatre Company’s Deaf Awakening on 3 September exploring the deaf world perspective.

Catch talented young performers in a number of fun family productions. The New Wolsey Theatre Young Company and Senior Youth Theatre present A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 8-10 August. Shakespeare’s greatest comedy comes to the main stage in an accessible and anarchic adaptation.  Les Misérables (School Edition), an epic musical journey full of passion, redemption and revolution is brought to life by Co-op Juniors Theatre Company from 3-6 July. British Youth Music Theatre presents Welcome to Serene on 30 and 31 August. This new musical will take you on a weird and wonderful musical journey to the seaside town of Serene, perfect for the summer holidays. 

With all this plus comedy from Richard Herring, Miles Jupp, Comedy Store Stand Up, and Laugh Out Proud, musical delights from Tenors Unlimited, Queer Joy Disco, Rave on, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, RUSH – A Joyous Jamaican Journey, poetry from Luke Wright and massive magic for kids from Morgan & West, the season really does have something for everyone.

Chief Executive/Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre Douglas Rintoul said: “The New Wolsey Summer season is a season that highlights everything that we’re passionate about making sure there’s something for all, that our stages are populated by local talent and that there are ways of experiencing what we do regardless of your economic background. We are all very proud of what we have on offer over the next few months.”


Book online at, call the Box Office on 01473 295900.