There are no fewer than five theatres to choose from in Ipswich, offering a variety of shows from top-notch stand up to kids’ entertainment or jazz and pizza nights. Be sure to check out the programmes during your stay for a great night out, and use our restaurant guide for the best pre-show dinner spots.
New Wolsey Theatre
The New Wolsey Theatre pays homage to its Ipswich-born namesake Thomas Wolsey, who rose to be cardinal and then Lord Chancellor (the king’s chief advisor) at the time of Henry VIII. Opened in 1979 by Princess Anne, the 400-seat theatre has become renowned for its work in appealing to a wide range of audiences and engaging with a diverse cross section of the community. Popular for their unique style of actor-musician productions, the rock ‘n’ roll pantos have gone from strength to strength. You’ll find a wide range of shows, from touring companies to local productions, so be sure to check out the programme for this intimate venue during your stay.
Our video guide to Ipswich theatre
Ipswich Regent Theatre
The Regent Theatre is East Anglia’s largest theatre, operating since 1929 when it was built as a (highly) luxurious cine-theatre complete with Wurlitzer organ and an 18-piece orchestra. Greats such as The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix have graced the stage, and today it hosts a programme of shows ranging from musicals, to kids’ entertainment, to top-name comedians. Ipswich Corn Exchange is just a 10-minute walk across town, with the Grand Hall welcoming more top talent to the town. Events range from Rick Wakeman’s Piano Odyssey to big names in stand up.
Red Rose Chain Theatre
Red Rose Chain is an award-winning independent theatre group who work at the heart of the community, putting on comedy events, jazz and pizza nights with an 18-piece orchestra, original plays and more. Check out their performances at The Avenue Theatre to the west of Ipswich town centre, as well as their yearly event which brings theatre into the wild. Theatre in the Forest is the chance for the whole family to enjoy theatre under the green canopy, held at TV’s Jimmy’s Farm (less than a 10-minute drive from our Ipswich South hotel).
Sir John Mills Theatre
Eastern Angles Theatre Company brings local history and stories to life at the Sir John Mills Theatre, an old converted Victorian primary school less than a 10-minute drive from both our Town Centre (Quayside) and Ipswich North hotels. Combining heritage and theatre, they’re very proud of their East Anglian roots and showcase the hidden stories of the region’s history (from murderous tales to comedies) as well as welcoming other touring companies to this cosy theatre.