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New Wolsey to Stage Our Blue Heaven Sequel in 2021
Saturday, 10th Aug 2019 06:00

The New Wolsey Theatre has announced plans for a sequel to last summer’s 1978 FA Cup play Our Blue Heaven in the spring of 2021, this time with a backdrop of Town’s 1980/81 UEFA Cup run.

Our Blue Heaven, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Blues’ FA Cup win at Wembley, was a huge success and the new play will similarly commemorate 40 years since the UEFA Cup triumph over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

Peter Rowe, artistic director at the New Wolsey Theatre, who will be appearing on today's Life's a Pitch, said: “2021 will mark a historic moment for the club and the theatre, as we celebrate 20 years of the New Wolsey Theatre too.

“We are committed to sharing stories that resonate with the local community and it was wonderful to see the response to Our Blue Heaven from those that remembered the victory and those younger supporters who could relive the memories they had heard so much about.
“It was the stories that we received after our call-out for Our Blue Heaven that really made the show so popular, there were stories that people could identify with.

“Everyone had a story about where they were in 1978 and there were some particularly poignant ones that helped me formulate the storyline – particularly the young man whose dad had sold their coupons for the FA Cup final and they had never spoken about it since.

“I know that there will be similar stories and adventures to share from 1981 – against a changing society and emerging pop culture too, this was a great year for music. We need the public’s support and memories to achieve such a great show once again!”

The UEFA Cup victory came at the end of what’s often regarded as the club’s greatest ever season, but one which ended in disappointment on the League and FA Cup fronts, the Blues losing out to Aston Villa for the title and then suffering a late semi-final defeat to Manchester City.
Elizabeth Edwards from the Ipswich Town Heritage Society added: “Just the UEFA Cup remained of our dreamed-of treble. But could our tired, drained team raise themselves one last time, for the home and away games v AZ Alkmaar?

Could the fans still believe in the team, in Bobby [Robson] himself? Ipswich Town had never lost at home in Europe - but was that an omen, or a weight around their necks?

“Those amazing nights, that fantastic team. And John Wark, who scored 36 goals that season from a defensive midfield position! Those of us who did live through it, we are the lucky ones.”

As part of the process of creating the show, the Wolsey is asking for stories from those who were caught up in the events of 1981, whether they attended the matches or not, from the FA Cup run, the league matches or the UEFA Cup run.

Stories that are funny or quirky, coincidences and twists of fate, the scramble for tickets, the making of banners, trips to Europe. And even if you weren’t a fan or supporter but somehow got caught up in the events of 1981, the theatre would be delighted to hear from you.
Ipswich Town Heritage Society is co-ordinating the collection of these reminiscences which will also be used as part of ITFC Heritage Society exhibitions, and by the East Anglian Daily Times and Radio Suffolk, to commemorate the victory in 2021.
Send your stories to the Heritage Society, including your contact details, to with the subject line ‘UEFA 1981 Memories’.

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Photos: New Wolsey Theatre

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Blackboots added 08:26 - Aug 10
If it’s anywhere near as good as the first one it’ll be well worth seeing. They need to get the same actor to play Sir Bobby, he was brilliant. It felt as if the great man himself was on stage.

STATMAN added 08:47 - Aug 10
Very happy about this.
The first show was superb and well worth seeing.
Cannot wait for tickets to go on show!!!!

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