Ayckbourn Hits 60 with RolePlay in ScarboroughDate: 25 June 2001
Alan Ayckbourn is hitting 60 this summer. Not in terms of years of age (that was two years ago) but rather numbers of plays. The two new comedies - GamePlan and FlatSpin, his 58th and 59th - already announced for premieres this summer at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) will now be joined in the repertoire by RolePlay, his 60th. RolePlay will run in SJT's Round auditorium from 30 August to 8 September 2001.
All three plays are entirely separate comedies, but they are written to be performed by the same cast, using the same set (a luxury apartment). The seven-strong company are Robert Austin, Saskia Butler, Bill Champion, Tim Faraday, Jacqueline King, Alison Parageter and Beth Tuckey.
In RolePlay, Justin Lazenby and Julie-Ann Jobson are planning an introductory supper for their respective parents. Will the Jobsons senior, Derek and Dee, meet with the approval of Justin's mother, Arabella, plus whoever she plans to bring with her? Everything is going to plan, until the arrival of the desperate Paige Petite who literally drops in from the upstairs flat, hotly pursued by the menacing Micky Rale.
GamePlan, which opened at the SJT on 24 May, continues until 25 August, while FlatSpin runs from 28 June to 8 September. The two, collectively entitled Damsels in Distress, can be seen together on one day with RolePlay at the end of their run on Saturday 8 September 2001, after which all three will tour regionally.
Alan Ayckbourn's many other comedies include Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce, A Small Family Business, Relatively Speaking and Way Upstream. His most recent productions to transfer to the West End were Things We Do for Love and the Olivier award-winning comedy Comic Potential. His twin set House and Garden, which were performed simultaneously on two stages by one cast, ran last year at the National following their premieres in Scarborough.
- by Terri Paddock