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  • Writer's picturePodtalk Team

Conversation with Pete Rowe, Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Pete has brought some of the biggest touring productions to the stage including Sweeny Todd, Perfect Days, A Family Affair and The Little Shop of Horrors. He joins us today to talk about the up and coming production of ‘What a Carve Up’ with a stellar cast including Stephen Fry, Griff Rhys Jones, Sir Derek Jacobi and Sharon D Clarke.

Pete's podcast can be heard right here - however here's a brief insight into his interview:

Pete talks about his start in life as member of a youth theatre touring schools and colleges which was a semi-pro organisation. When Pete attended university he tried his hand at directing and soon moved from acting into directing. From University Pete then directed for the ‘Almost Free’ theatre company, which performed for the cost of what someone could afford. After further work with various theatres around the UK, including The Solent Theatre in Southampton, Pete directed The London Bubble (touring cabaret/musical theatre around boroughs of London). It was whilst he was working in Liverpool that he, and his partner Sue, applied for the a joint role at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich in 2000.

The New Wolsey Theatre had been closed for a few years and Pete and Sue’s task were to revive the theatre to its former glory and beyond. Pete also writes and directs independently and freelances on separate projects.

When asked what his favourite performance has been at the New Wolsey, Pete mentioned Sweeny Todd’, partly because it was his first production at the theatre after they reopened and he had previously worked on the show before – but it was a landmark for him, as it shaped what was to follow. Pete also mentioned the world premier of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and his co-written production Mid Summer Songs. Pete has a love for all rock and roll pantomimes too. 

Pete and the team have won many awards, particularly for the Christmas Show productions which the New Wolsey are famous for. He mentions the theatre’s imitative Ramps on the Moon, which enables less abled individuals to get involved with theatre life, he actively supports and promotes the initiative.

2020 has been a tough year for every theatre, however the New Wolsey have been active with a complete revamp as well as running socially distanced theatre workshops on the stage.

In the autumn the New Wolsey will restart their Youth Programme as well as producing and showing (online) ‘What a Carve Up’ a co-production with the Lawrence Batley Theatre and The Barn Theatre.

What a Carve Up will star some of the biggest actors on the globe including Stephen Fry, Griff Rhys Jones, Sharon D Clarke, Tamzin Outhwaite, Sir Derek Jacobi and Rebecca Front. The show is a mix of digital animation, narration and film and will be streamed (with a live production every performance) from 31st October to the 29th November. There are two types of tickets available – basic ticket is £12 or GOODY BAG TICKET £16 – which includes a proper show programme and a special recipe from Asma Khan (Founder and star chef of Darjeeling Express) posted to your home.

To buy tickets for 'What a Carve Up' visit


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