Monday, May 18, 2015

This Week: 18 May 2015

This Week & Coming Soon
Until 27 June: Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London
19 - 20 May: Absent Friends at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
21 - 23 May: Absent Friends at the Theatre Royal, Winchester

News Round Up:
> Alain Resnais's final movie Life Of Riley - based on the Alan Ayckbourn play - is released on a blu-ray / DVD combo package in the UK on 25 May. The film was the third Ayckbourn adaptation by the French film auteur and it can be ordered online here. The blu-ray has already been released in North America and France.
> The Menier Chocolate Factory's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors is now running until 27 June and has received four star reviews from The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail and The Stage. A round-up of reviews and further information can be found here.
> It's less than two months until Alan Ayckbourn's revival of his classic play Confusions opens at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. The play is running in repertoire from 9 July - 26 September and tickets are available via www.sjt.uk.com. The world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's new play Hero's Welcome will take place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre from 4 September - 3 October.
> London Classic Theatre's extensive UK tour of Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends continues this week to Chelmsford and Winchester. Further details about the tour which is running until 18 July can be found here.
> Alan Ayckbourn will be in conversation with his biographer Paul Allen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 12 July as part of the venue's 60th anniversary celebrations. The event will take place at 3pm and cost £6.50 with proceeds going to the theatre's new writing fund. Further details can be found at www.sjt.uk.com.
> Our sister site Scarborough In The Round continues its weekly look at the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. Check the website's blog every Monday.

Alan Ayckbourn & The Stephen Joseph Theatre Anniversaries:
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2015, the blog will be looking back on notable dates from the history of the theatre and its relationship with Alan Ayckbourn. Visit the Scarborough In The Round blog for a more in-depth exploration of significant SJT anniversaries each week.

21 May: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Body Language at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 1990.
22 May: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn & Paul Todd's revue Mere Soup Songs at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 1986.
23 May: Alan Ayckbourn announced in 2007 to the Stephen Joseph Theatre company, his decision to retire as Artistic Director of the venue in 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory

The Menier Chocolate Factory's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors has now opened and the reviews are coming in.
The revival of the play, first produced in 1994 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, has received several four star reviews and been well-received by critics. A taste of the reviews can be found below.
The production is directed by Lindsay Posner and stars David Bamber, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Matthew Cottle, Robert Portal, Imogen Stubbs and Rachel Tucker.
Communicating Doors can be seen at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 27 June and further details and bookings can be found here.

Communicating Doors - What The Critics Say

The Guardian (Michael Billington) - 4 stars
"[Communicating Doors] has echoes of Back to the Future, Psycho and the time-plays of JB Priestley. But what is impressive is how Ayckbourn uses a fiendishly clever plot to impart the cheering message that foreknowledge enables us to alter our destiny."

Daily Telegraph (Ben Lawrence) - 4 stars
"It’s [Communicating Doors] a surprisingly sobering, sensitive work that’s handled expertly here in Lindsay Posner’s touching, warm-hearted revival."

Sunday Times (Christopher Hart) - 4 Stars
"It's an elegant, feminist-tinged fable about female solidarity triumphing over male beastliness."

Daily Mail (Quentin Letts) - 4 stars
"The first scene is slow but after that the farcical momentum - knife-edge entrances and exits, bedroom clothes and domestic tension - takes grip."

The Stage (Mark Shenton) - 4 stars
"It [Communicating Doors] becomes altogether weirdly wonderful. At one point in Act II, I cried with laughter; but at other points, I was chilled and thrilled. It is performed to perfection by a brilliant ensemble cast."

The Times (Dominic Maxwell) - 3 stars
"Lindsay Posner’s polished, slightly updated revival, ends up as a happy, highly enjoyable piece of hokum."

What's On Stage (Michael Coveney) - 3 stars
"[Communicating Doors] combines elements of time-travelling - as in Dr Who and the plays of J B Priestley - the Psycho shower scene, boulevard farce à la Cooney and high comedy à la Coward. Only Ayckbourn would have the audacity to attempt a fusion of so many disparate genres."

Communicating Doors can be seen at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 27 June and further details and bookings can be found here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

This Week: 11 May 2015

This Week & Coming Soon
Until 16 May: Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre
Until 27 June: Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London
11 - 13 May: Absent Friends at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
14 - 16 May: Absent Friends at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

News Round Up:
> There's just one more week to catch the critically acclaimed revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre. The production - which features a water-filled stage complete with moving canal boat - can be seen until 16 May and further details can be found here.
> The Menier Chocolate Factory's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's award-winning thriller Communicating Doors has now opened. It features David Bamber, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Matthew Cottle, Robert Portal, Imogen Stubbs and Rachel Tucker. It can be seen until 27 June and further details can be found here.
> Alan Ayckbourn will be in conversation with his biographer Paul Allen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 12 July as part of the venue's 60th anniversary celebrations. The event will take place at 3pm and cost £6.50 with proceeds going to the theatre's new writing fund. Further details can be found at www.sjt.uk.com.
> Our sister site Scarborough In The Round continues its weekly look at the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. Check the website's blog every Monday.

Monday, May 4, 2015

This Week: 4 May 2015

This Week & Coming Soon
Until 16 May: Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre
5 - 9 May: Absent Friends at Blackpool Grand Theatre
7 - 27 June: Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London

News Round Up:
> Chichester Festival Theatre's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Way Upstream has met with critical acclaim. The production, which is directed by Nadia Fall, can be seen until 16 May and some of the reactions to the play can be found here.
> London Classic Theatre has just begun its UK tour of Alan Ayckbourn's classic play Absent Friends. The production arrives at Blackpool this week and continues touring until 18 July. The production is directed by Michael Cabot and further details and the full touring schedule can be found here.
> Alan Ayckbourn's award-winning time-travelling thriller Communicating Doors is being revived at the Menier Chocolate Factory this week. It is directed by Lindsay Posner, who directed the West End revival of Relatively Speaking in 2013, and can be seen at the venue from 7 May until 27 June. Further details and bookings can be found here.
> Alan Ayckbourn will be in conversation with his biographer Paul Allen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 12 July as part of the venue's 60th anniversary celebrations. The event will take place at 3pm and cost £6.50 with proceeds going to the theatre's new writing fund. Further details can be found at www.sjt.uk.com.
> Our sister site Scarborough In The Round continues its weekly look at the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. Check the website's blog every Monday.

Alan Ayckbourn & The Stephen Joseph Theatre Anniversaries:
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2015, the blog will be looking back on notable dates from the history of the theatre and its relationship with Alan Ayckbourn. Visit the Scarborough In The Round blog for a more in-depth exploration of significant SJT anniversaries each week.

4 May: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Drowning On Dry Land at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 2004.
7 May: London premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Wildest Dreams at The Pit in 1991; this marked the first production of an Ayckbourn play by the Royal Shakespeare Company and included members of the original Scarborough company.