Arts Theatre Company, Ipswich

September 1962 - October 1963

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Ticket prices in 1963:

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On 16 January 1963 the General Manager announced, with some regret, higher prices for tickets.   The most expensive seat would now be 6 Shillings 6 Pence (less than one US Dollar.)  Prices for London plays would have been about twice these amounts. Click the thumbnail on the left for the full text of the announcement, including an unfortunate rise in ice cream prices.

The Ipswich Arts Theatre was in Tower Street in the centre of the small market town. Three Victorian cottages had been converted into a lecture hall, where Charles Dickens had performed extracts from his novels. Then it became a flea-pit cinema and during the War was a welcome club for troops. In 1948, it was turned into a theatre holding 360 customers.

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“People walk past this building without noticing it” I told the Ipswich Evening Star (27 June 1962): and of the plans to replace it with a custom-built theatre – 'I’d rather see this theatre so full every night that they can’t squeeze anyone else in. Ipswich only needs a new building when this one is packed out every night. I can’t see any point just building a theatre for the sake of it. The play isn’t any better because it is in a new building.'

Perhaps I was being romantic about the inadequacies of our theatre because I enjoyed the contrast between the dusty confusion backstage and the brightly-lit fun and games onstage.
— Ian McKellen, 2001

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The Plays

YearPlaceTitle/WriterDirector/Role
1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
BECKET
Jean Anouilh, translated by Lucienne Hill

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Gilbert Folliot, Bishop of London / First Baron


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE GAZEBO
Alec Coppell

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Elliot Nash


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
CASTE
T W Robertson

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Sam Gerridge


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE BIG KILLING
Philip Mackie

DIRECTOR: Donald MacKechnie
ROLE: Gavin Cole


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE AMOROUS PRAWN
Anthony Kimmins

DIRECTOR: Alan Gray
ROLE: Larry Hoffman


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE KEEP (1962)
Gwyn Thomas

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
DAVID COPPERFIELD (1962)
Joan MacAlpine (from Charles Dickens' novel)

ROLE: David


1962Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
ALADDIN & HIS WONDERFUL LAMP
Henry Marshall

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn and Donald Mackechnie
ROLE: Tee Vee


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
HOW DARE WE!
ROLE: various (singing, dancing, clowning)


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
HENRY V (1963)
William Shakespeare

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: King Henry


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
UNDER MILK WOOD
Dylan Thomas
DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Mr Waldo, Cherry Owen, No-good Boyo, and First Drowned


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Joseph Kesselring

DIRECTOR: Alan Gray
ROLE: Mortimer Brewster


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
LUTHER
John Osborne

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Martin Luther


1963Belgrade Theatre
Coventry
THE BIG CONTRACT
Barry England

DIRECTOR: Anthony Richardson
ROLE: Robin Green


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Eugene O'Neill

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Edmund Tyrone


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
TO DOROTHY A SON
Roger McDougall

ROLE: voices off


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
I, JOHN BROWN
John Hall

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Andrew Acre


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
SALAD DAYS
Julian Slade & Dorothy Reynolds

DIRECTOR: Alan Gray
ROLE: Fosdyke/Nigel


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE CORN IS GREEN
Emlyn Williams

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Morgan Evans


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
THE PUBLIC EYE
Peter Shaffer

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Julian Christoforou


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
SERJEANT MUSGRAVE'S DANCE
John Arden

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Private Sparky


1963Arts Theatre
Ipswich, Suffolk
ALL IN GOOD TIME
Bill Naughton

DIRECTOR: Robert Chetwyn
ROLE: Arthur Fitton


Next:
December 1963 - June 1964
Nottingham Playhouse

Stage Index

Plays by Title

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