Reasons to be Cheerful (2010 & 2012)

By Paul Sirett
  • Time Out
  • The Daily Telegraph
  • The Stage The Scotsman The Times
  • Read the reviews

  • The Stage "Paul Sirett’s script snaps, snarls, laughs and leers, just like Dury’s music." Read more...
  • The Scotsman "Reasons to be Cheerful emerges not only as a funny, energetic and
moving show, but also one that pulses with a deep, natural human energy."
  • The Times "The music is brilliant… there are moments of crude punk genius"
  • Time Out "Oi, oi! Paul Sirett’s new musical fashioned around the music of Ian Dury is rough, ready and bloody brilliant." Read more...
  • The Daily Telegraph "The energy and anarchic attitude are faultless." Read more...
  • The Guardian "Reasons To Be Cheerful – The Musical is a Graeae Theatre Company triumph. The BBC’s banned Spasticus Autisticus is joyfully defiant."

Reasons to be Cheerful is a glorious celebration of the music, energy and anarchy of legendary singer-songwriter Ian Dury, front man of punk band The Blockheads.

Reasons to be Cheerful was nominated for Best Touring Production and the Renee Shepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre at the TMA Theatre UK Awards. Jenny Sealey said: ‘I’m thrilled that Reasons to be Cheerful has been shortlisted for this award. The show had a hugely talented cast, band, crew and creative team and this nomination is already a fantastic testimony to everyone’s hard work and passion. Graeae and the New Wolsey have a great working relationship and to win an award as co-producers would be a fitting acknowledgement of what we have achieved together.’

This year, Reasons to be Cheerful was bigger, better and more rockin’ than ever before. With an epic 1,633 mile tour under its belt the show then performed a number of one off gigs including featuring at the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. This culminated with the storming performance at the Southbank Centre as part of Unlimited Festival 2012 that had the whole audience singing and signing along.

It’s 1979: Labour loses to the Tories, strikes rock the nation and Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) climbs the charts. As the ultimate fans, Vinnie and his mates would do anything to see Dury at the Hammersmith Odeon, only the gig is sold out. But life has a habit of throwing strange things at you, and one night of frustration becomes something else entirely…

Written by Paul Sirett and directed by Graeae’s Jenny Sealey, this acclaimed coming of age tale featuring Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ greatest hits such as Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, Sweet Gene Vincent, Spasticus Autisticus and Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick has filled theatres with raucous glee. ‘Ave it! ‘A Masterpiece!’ Chaz Jankel – The Blockheads

BSL Interpretation


Image gallery

  • Reasons to be Cheerful production
  • Reasons to be Cheerful production
  • Reasons to be Cheerful production
  • Reasons to be Cheerful production
  • Reasons to be Cheerful production
  • Reasons to be Cheerful production

Image gallery

  • Vinnie
    Stephen Lloyd
  • Colin
    Stephen Collins
  • Janine
    Nadia Albina
  • Pat
    Karen Spicer
  • Bill/Bobby
    Garry Robson
  • Nick/Dave (saxophone/guitar)
    Daniel McGowan
  • Uncle Harry (keyboards)
    Robert Hyman
  • John (lead vocals)
    John Kelly
  • Nixon (bass guitar)
    Nixon Rosembert
  • Paul (guitar)
    Paul Sirett
  • Paula (drums)
    Paula Faircloth
  • Debbie (singing/dancing)
    Jude Mahon
  • Pickles (describing/dancing)
    Wayne 'Pickles' Norman
  • Director — Jenny Sealey
  • Musical Director — Robert Hyman
  • Designer — Gaelle Mellis
  • Lighting Designer — Ian Scott
  • Choreographer — Mark Smith
  • Sound Designer — Lewis Gibson
  • Video Producer — Mark Haig
  • Lyrics and music — Ian Drury, Chaz Jankel & Davey Payne