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An open letter from Jenny Sealey - Director of 'Reasons To Be Cheerful'

When Ian Dury left us, my then partner Danny Braverman said, ‘You really
must do something about Ian and his music at Graeae’. And he was right, as
a patron of Graeae we did need to find a fitting tribute for him.

Musicals / plays with music are not my strong forte being Deaf and all that, so
I needed someone who really knows this territory. I went to Kerry Michael,
Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East. He came straight on board
suggesting we co commissioned Paul Sirret to write the book and got Robert
Hyman be our Musical Director. And we were off with heartfelt support from
The Dury family and The Blockheads!

I never thought that 7 years on from our first show we would have done two
tours, played in Brazil, Mexico, Latitude and of course our version of
'Spasticus Autisticus' was part of London 2012 Paralympic Opening
Ceremony. Each time we have toured or played it has been a reminder that
we need a reason to be cheerful against a backdrop of austerity and cuts.

It is brilliant and important to be doing it again because the world is in such a
fragile place and here in UK we are in a mess. The fight for access and
independence for D/deaf and disabled people is woefully ongoing and in
answer to our first song ‘Why don’t you get out of bed’ – well, we will if we
have the right access to help us out of the sodding bed and once we are up,
we are there, en masse to fight injustice and to promote equality – so all in all
a reason to be cheerful.

This show is for anyone who loves Dury, anyone who has been/is a teenager,
anyone who has fallen in love and for those who have ever nicked their
parents car!

There is a new design, new MD, new cast members, an additional character
(who likes prog rock) but Garry Robson and Nadia Albina (original Bobby and
Janine), Mat Fraser (Drums) and Robert Hyman (MD), you are still and
always will be part of the DNA of this show. The mixing of the original with the
new is hugely exciting as we can re vamp and re ramp up this revival and
ensuring plenty of ‘Sex n drugs n rock n roll’!

I love ACE’s (Arts Council England’s) understanding of the ambition and the
need for this production and am eternally grateful to them for funding our last
tour. I say ‘last’ but maybe Reasons will be part of Graeae for many more
years yet.

But here is to THIS TOUR.
ENJOY.

Jenny Sealey
Director 'Reasons To Be Cheerful'.

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