NEWS: Graeae brings Reasons to be Cheerful to Liverpool Everyman to celebrate Ian Dury and Protest Against Disability Welfare Cuts

The casts of Reasons to be Cheerful getting ready to rock into Liverpool's Everyman Theatre

Members of the legendary punk band The Blockheads have created an exclusive protest song aimed at the so-called austerity cuts affecting the D/deaf and disabled community. The song will feature in Reasons to be Cheerful, a musical celebrating the iconic late-frontman Ian Dury, at The Liverpool Everyman from October 17 – October 21.

Reasons to be Cheerful visits the Everyman as part of a UK tour this October and features ‘If it Can’t be Right Then it Must be Wrong written by Blockhead members Chaz Junkel and Derek Hussey, and cast member John Kelly.

Echoing the political climate of 1979, the new Blockheads song is a rallying cry for 2017 protesting against austerity and cuts directed at the D/deaf and disabled community in the UK and the systematic disintegration of the NHS and the Welfare State.

Derek Hussey, Blockheads star and co-writer of the song said: “These issues should be at the top of the agenda in any fair minded democratic society. Allowing individuals to achieve and maintain independence, an element of self-esteem and dignity without suffering the ignominy of having to resort to a humiliating begging bowl mentality.

“If It Can’t Be Right Then It Must Be Wrong highlights some of those points and, I hope, reminds us all that with the right kind of assistance anything is possible.”

The riotous musical also includes classic Ian Dury & The Blockheads songs Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; What A Waste and Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3).

Set in 1979, the story follows the journey of die-hard Ian Dury fans Vinnie and Colin, and their quest to see their hero at a sold-out Hammersmith Odeon gig. Without a ticket, but with the determination and desire of true fans, the protagonists’ journey to Hammersmith throws more at them than they could ever expect.

Part gig, part play, Reasons to be Cheerful is brought to the Everyman by disabled-led theatre group Graeae, a pioneering company whose aim is to break down barriers, challenge preconceptions and boldly place d/Deaf and disabled artists centre stage.

Jenny Sealey, director of Reasons to be Cheerful and Artistic Director at Graeae Theatre Company, said: “I am beyond thrilled that our Reasons to be Cheerful gang are dusting off their Dr. Martens and going back out on the road one final time in a new production of our hit show, thanks to support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.

“We will be well and truly raising the roof up and down the country with the brilliantly anarchic music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, whose punk sentiment speaks louder than ever.”

As part of a nationwide campaign, Graeae is inviting individuals and communities to create their own original protest songs with an accompanying video in any format accessible to them. Selected songs will then be showcased in theatres across the UK as part of the Reasons to be Cheerful tour including the Everyman.

For more information on Graeae’s protest song campaign visit: www.graeae.org/protest-song/. Reasons to be Cheerful  a raucous musical featuring the hits of Ian Dury – is at the Everyman from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 October.

Tickets are available at: https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/reasons-to-be-cheerful/.