Ayckbourn's Comic Potential, which opens 29 May, asks whether comedy is humanity's divine gift or its own invention designed to make the rest of life bearable. Set in the next millennium, Adam Trainsmith and JCF 31333 are star-crossed, mis-matched lovers who face an uncertain future where everything has changed except human nature.
Godber's Perfect Pitch, opening 2 July, revolves around seasoned caravanners Ron and Yvonne. Every weekend they head for the coast to get away from it all. Sung in their prized four-berth, theirs is the perfect pitch of the title. But when Grant and Steph, the caravanners from hell, pull up alongside, the peace is shattered.
Firth follows Perfect Pitch on 6 August with Love Songs for Shopkeepers, a musical comedy about love, passion and discount fishing tackle. In his local radio station, Peter Clare is widely regarded as the Elton John of jingles. The only problem is that all his jingles are failed love songs, because Peter himself is a failed songwriter. Can you write a love song without ever having been in love?
All three of the above productions are performed in repertory in the 400-seat Round, the SJT's main house. Other productions in the Ten by Ten season can be seen during lunchtime performances in the SJT's McCarthy and Restaurant venues.
Alan Acykbourn has been artistic director at the SJT since 1970. He has written 53 plays, including Things We Do For Love, currently playing in the West End, which won him the 1997 Playwright of the Year Award. He is also an award-winning director. He will be directing both Comic Potential and Love Songs for Shopkeepers.
John Godber is artistic director of Hull Truck Theatre. His plays include Bouncers, April in Paris and Up 'n' Under for which he also wrote the screenplay and directed the film. John's television work includes Brookside and Grange Hill.
Tim Firth also writes for theatre and television. His award-winning work for TV includes the film Money for Nothing and the series Preston Front. His best-known stage play, Neville's Island, has recently been filmed for television, starring Timothy Spall and Martin Clunes.
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