The Union Theatre is staging a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s 1978 play Joking Apart next month.

The production is being directed by Ben De Wynter, who was behind the venue’s previous revivals of Ayckbourn’s Confusions (2009) and Absent Friends (2010).

According to press material, “The intimacy of The Union lends itself well to the intricacies and subtleties of Ayckbourn’s writing.  Therefore, Joking Apart was decided upon.”

The play takes place over a 12-year period in the back garden of near-perfect couple Richard and Anthea, whose circle of friends includes a smug Scandinavian couple, a crisis-stricken Vicar and his neurotic wife, a neglected girlfriend and an aging lothario.

It runs at the Union from 15 December 2011 to 14 January 2012 (previews from 13 December), with a Christmas break from 24 December to 2 Janaury.