John Godber's classic 1984 play, September In the Rain, heads out on a major UK tour this week, taking in 44 venues and opening at Hull Truck Theatre. Most of the venues, which include several in the North and Midlands, will be visited for one night only on a schedule which closes in Cleethorpes on 1 December 2001.

The production, which premiered at Hull Truck in 1984, charts the frustrations and joys of an ordinary marriage. Jack and Liz are a couple whose lifetime of hard-earned holidays in Blackpool has seen them whiling away the hours by the sea. However, personal triumphs, regrets and unsung love begin to surface against a backdrop of candyfloss, fish and chips and boarding houses.

The Hull Truck Theatre company was founded in 1971, and hence celebrates its 30th birthday this year. Yet it wasn't until 1983 that the team really turned the corner, with the opening season of their 200-seat theatre and the appointment of John Godber as Artistic Director. Their touring programme averages six plays a year to over 150 venues nationwide, attracting total audiences of around 80,000. Six Hull Truck productions have transferred to the West End - one of them (Bouncers) winning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

John Godber was born in West Yorkshire in 1956, and later became an award-winning school drama teacher. His work has won numerous prizes, including five Edinburgh Fringe Firsts and Oliviers for Up ā€˜nā€™ Under and (Bouncers. His other acclaimed works include Our House, On the Piste and Big Trouble In the Little Bedroom. Godber is the third most widely performed UK playwright after Shakespeare and Alan Ayckbourn.

Following the Hull opening, the extensive September trek calls at Wakefield Theatre Royal, Chester Gateway, Warrington Parr Hall and Buxton Opera House among many other destinations.

- by Gareth Thompson