The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich are alive and kicking with their new musical, Our Blue Heaven. Written and directed by Peter Rowe, this is a monumental production for our humble town, as it focuses on Ipswich Town Football Clubs historic FA Cup victory on 6th May 1978.
As someone who is the furthest thing from a sports fan, let alone football, I wondered how the world of theatre and football would collide and if it could really work – but oh yes it does, as the results here are nothing short of brilliant.
The story focuses on three families. The Coombes family, of whom parents are dealing with their football crazy 12-year old daughter Sue, who is devastated to learn her big sister Mel has booked her wedding on the date of the cup final and she is expected to be Bridesmaid. Family two is the in-laws, The Tillotson’s, who have found themselves mixed up in the politics of the family. Family three is young couple, Smudger and Ange, at the start of building The Traynor family, with a baby on the way, due on May 6th.
All the stories of which beg the question, are their relationships as strong as the love of the game and club?
Held together by a brilliantly talented cast, there are characters that relate to many. Highlights come from Peter Peverley who had audiences taken-aback by his piercingly accurate portrayal of Sir Bobby Robson, and many loved the character of Sue (a role shared by two local girls, Anna Kitching and Olivia Max) because they saw themselves in her.
Teamed with great set, lighting, choreography and an electric score of hits from the era, you can tell ounces of creativity and passion has been poured into this production.
Overall, its a great show that showcases a story of love, family, underdogs and the passion for the English tradition that is football. Even if you don’t love the game, there is something for everyone in this show, and I urge you to support your local theatre and town by grabbing a ticket while you still can!
Our Blue Heaven runs at the New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday 26th May. For more information or to book visit www.wolseytheatre.co.uk.