1970s Ayckbourn Hits Time & Ourselves Mount ToursDate: 13 May 2002
Two of playwright Alan Ayckbourn's biggest hits from the 1970s are launching major UK summer tours. A new production of his 1972 comedy Time and Time Again has just opened in Bromley and now continues to five further venues until 29 June 2002. It's followed by a revival of 1977's Just Between Ourselves, starring comedian and game show host Les Dennis (pictured), which launches a two-month tour from Malvern on 1 July 2002.
In Time and Time Again, the plot revolves around cricket, a congenial garden gnome and a sequence of extraordinary misunderstandings. When womaniser Graham meets his employee Peter's fiancée, Joan, he makes a beeline for her. But Joan fancies Graham's brother-in-law Leonard and it's up to Graham's wife Anna to try to straighten things out.
Time and Time Again stars Robert Duncan (from TV's Drop the Dead Donkey and Ray Cooney's Caught in the Net in the West End) along with John Challis and Sue Holderness (who played husband and wife Boycie and Marlene on TV's Only Fools and Horses).
Following Bromley, Time and Time Again now visits Cambridge, Eastbourne, Bath, Malvern and Worthing. The production is directed by Robin Herford and designed by Julie Godfrey, with lighting by Andy Chafer.
In Just Between Ourselves, relentlessly cheerful Dennis spends all his spare time pottering in the garage, oblivious to the fact that he has absolutely no mechanical or DIY skills whatsoever. He's equally ignorant to the fact that his wife Vera is being driven to distraction by his jealous and possessive mother. Enter Neil and Pam, a nice couple but with problems of their own.
Also starring Jean Boht (from TV's Bread), Just Between Ourselves is directed by Dominic Hill and designed by Jonathan Fensom. After its opening in Malvern, it continues to Brighton, Richmond, Guildford, Plymouth and Bath with further dates to be confirmed.
One of the most prolific playwrights in British history, Alan Ayckbourn's many other hit plays include Relatively Speaking, Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, A Small Family Business, Things We Do for Love, House and Garden, Comic Potential and Bedroom Farce, currently being revived in the West End with June Whitfield and Richard Briers. This summer at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre, where he's artistic director and debuts most of his work, he'll premiere his 61st play, Snake in the Grass.
- by Terri Paddock