Press Release: Alan Ayckbourn's Latest Play To Premiere At The Stephen Joseph Theatre During Summer 2017
Alan Ayckbourn Celebrates 60 Years At The Stephen Joseph Theatre With A New Play, Revival & Gala Events13 July - 5 October: Taking Steps
1 September - 7 October: A Brief History Of Women (world premiere)
10 & 17 September: A Brief History of Plays - Celebrating Alan Ayckbourn's 60 years at the SJT
Alan Ayckbourn will be celebrating his 60th anniversary with the Stephen Joseph Theatre this summer with a world premiere, the revival of one of his most popular comedies and two special gala events.
Alan joined the company in 1957 as an assistant stage manager and actor and within two years had begun writing for the company with his first play The Square Cat. Now, 80 plays later, he will celebrate six decades with the company.
His new play, A Brief History of Women, will open at the SJT on 1 September and run through to 7 October, and the playwright admits the play, which charts 60 years of the life of the unremarkable Anthony Spates, has a touch of autobiography about it.
“It’s a play about a man - it’s a bit autobiographical - who’s fairly ineffectual. His life has been radically changed by a series of women, just as women have been an enormous influence on my life," said the playwright. "It's about this unremarkable man and the remarkable women who loved him, left him, or lost him over sixty years; and of the equally remarkable old manor house that saw and heard it all happen."
A Brief History of Women is Alan's 81st play and will be directed by Alan Ayckbourn and designed by Kevin Jenkins with lighting by Jason Taylor, both of whom will also work with Alan on his revival of Taking Steps.
Taking Steps is considered by the playwright to be his only true farce and is dedicated the master farceur Ben Travers. It opened in 1979 at the Stephen Jospeh Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, where it became the first play by the company to run for more than 100 performances. Alan Ayckbourn also revived it in Scarborough in 1990 with a remarkable cast which included Michael Gambon, Ken Stott and Claire Skinner. More recently, his 2010 revival at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, drew critical acclaim and was a huge success.
Taking Steps can be seen in repertory at the Stephen Joseph Theatre from 13 July - 5 October.
The season will be rounded off with two special events in which Alan Ayckbourn will be celebrating his 60 years with the company. A Brief History of Plays will see the playwright exploring his six decades with the company over two nights on 10 and 17 September.
Each night will cover thirty years of his work at the SJT complete with reminiscences and anecdotes by the playwright, alongside extracts from many of his plays acted by members of his summer company as well as some familiar faces from the past.
A Brief History of Plays can be seen on Sunday 10 & 17 September at 7pm. The events are a fund-raiser for new writing at the SJT and cost £75 per evening (which includes prosecco, programme and invite to the VIP post-event party) or £35 for just the event. Joint tickets for both evenings are available for £140 or £65.
Further details as well as booking details for A Brief History of Women, Taking Steps and A Brief History of Plays can be found at www.sjt.uk.com.