Ipswich has a real love for the theatre and offers a packed calendar of great shows in a variety of genres. This diversity attracts all kinds of audiences, including crowds from the local area and further afield, and has given the town a fantastic reputation for supporting the arts.
The Regent Theatre is the largest venue of its type in the town. It opened in 1929 and was celebrated at the time as being one of the most luxurious venues of its type. Originally the building was a cine-variety hall, meaning it could show films as well as host various types of performances. In fact it was one of the first cinemas in the UK to show movies with sound.
The Regent Theatre was under threat at one point when plans were put in place to convert the auditorium into a multi-screen cinema complex. Fortunately these met resistance and the Ipswich Borough Council successfully saved the property, re-launching the theatre in 1991. In 2000 the property was granted Grade II listed status to protect it further. Since then it has been renovated and continues to offer all kinds of great events.
The New Wolsey Theatre is newer and smaller but also renowned for its outstanding productions. It opened in 1979 and was extensively refurbished in 2001. With 400 seats it is a great example of a mid-sized regional venue. It is celebrated for offering an array of different performances and creative learning projects, making theatre accessible and attractive to a variety of audiences from across the region and beyond.
If you are planning a visit to Ipswich, you should definitely consider a trip to the theatre. Both the Regent and the New Wolsey have great calendars of events and offer shows to suit all tastes. You can find out about events on their respective websites for further information.
To make your visit and trip extra special, why not spend the night at The Gatehouse Hotel? This charming country house hotel offers quality accommodation in Ipswich, putting you outside of the town centre in a quiet area but within 10-15 minutes drive to either theatre. The hotel is a Best Western so you can expect a great experience and a comfortable stay.