Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is delighted to reveal the full cast details for the premiere of The Wisdom Club, a brand new play by Bury St Edmunds-based writer Danusia Iwaszko (A Labour of Love, 2015) and directed by the acclaimed Theatre Director Roger Haines (Calendar Girls, The Full Monty). The Wisdom Club is a funny, charming and genuinely thought provoking bold new play, exploring Britain’s aging population (Wed 30 Jan – Sat 9 Feb 2019).

When Susanna tells her mother Megan she no longer wants her to look after the children, Megan can’t help but feel out of a job. If she’s not being a mother or a grandmother, then who and what is she? If retired Brewery worker, Lenny knew his retirement was going to be so long he would have started another career. Ex hospital worker Rani is on a mission; the friends need to protest and step out of the shadows. This is Grey power, not girl power. They’re old but they’re not dead yet!

Carol Starks stars as Susanna
Liz Crowther stars as Megan

Starring as Megan is Liz Crowther whose stage credits include Oliver Twist (Regents Park), The White Devil (Royal Shakespeare Company) and her television credits include Miss Marple and Eastenders (BBC). Susanna will be played by Carol Starks whose theatre credits include Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Royal National Theatre) and television credits include Holby City (BBC), Coronation Street and The Bill (ITV).

Playing Rani is Souad Faress who audiences will recognise as the voice of Usha from The Archers (BBC Radio 4), the Dosh khaleen High Priestess in Game of Thrones (HBO) and whose stage credits include The Village (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Winter Hill (Octagon Theatre). Lenny will be played by John Branwell who most recently appeared in Mike Leigh’s feature film Peterloo, and whose theatre credits include Hamlet (Bolton Octagon) and King Lear (Northern Broadsides).

Jon Branwell stars as Lenny
Souad Faress stars as Rani

Director Roger Haines said “I am thrilled to be working with this very lovely and talented company of actors. I’m certain they will explore Danusia’s wonderful script with rigour and love, and hence I hope the result will be a thoroughly entertaining and inspiring piece of theatre.”

The Wisdom Club is a Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds production that has been developed from the theatre’s Associate Artist work within the community. Artistic Director Karen Simpson invited Danusia to choose a group of people she would like to work with as a theatre practitioner, Danusia chose to work with older generations which led to workshops being formed and eventually a group which came to be known as The Wisdom Club. Over time, so many experiences were being shared that Danusia decided that she wanted to write a new play based on the stories she had heard from the people in her workshop groups. Danusia said “The play is not about laughing at the older generations, it’s their humour and real-life experiences which are being explored through the characters on stage.”

Performances run between Wed 30 Jan and Sat 9 Feb, there is also an Audio Described and Captioned performance on Sat 9 Feb at 3pm which includes an optional touch tour at 2pm. The Wisdom Club is sponsored by Gross & Co. Solicitors and we are very grateful for their support.

Tickets are available from the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online or visit the theatre in person.

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