Friday, October 31, 2014

Alan Ayckbourn's 2015 Plays Announced

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, has announced Alan Ayckbourn's plays for 2015 as part of its 60th anniversary announcement.
The theatre will celebrate its diamond anniversary in 2015 marking the opening of the Library Theatre, Scarborough, by Stephen Joseph on 14 July 1955.
As part of the celebrations, Alan Ayckbourn will direct the world premiere of his 79th play Hero's Welcome as well as a revival of his classic play Confusions.
The season will also include revivals of Stephen Mallatratt's famed adaptation of Susan Hill's The Woman In Black and Tim Firth's Neville's Island; both of which were first staged at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round in Scarborough.
More details about all the productions will be announced in the coming months.

Halloween Hauntings...

Andy: (softly) I was at this party. The other side of town. I got really pissed. We'd had a row. Julia and I. (with a glance at Ken) It doesn't really matter what about. Not any more. But in the morning, I woke up on some sofa and I felt really terrible. Talk about hung-over, I think I was still drunk. But the first thought in my head was, I must see if she's OK. Julia. So I thought, I'll go over and see her. I still had my key, you see. I remember walking here, trying to sober up. Lovely sunny morning. It was cold. February. But really bright. And I reached here about nine o'clock. And I let myself into the house and then up the stairs and into this room. The curtains were still drawn, and I thought, she's overslept for once, that's unusual, she's usually halfway through a concerto by seven. And I remember standing in the doorway there - getting my eyes used to the darkness - and the first thing I really registered was that bedspread. The last time I'd seen it, it had been white. Only now it wasn't white it was - red. And I thought, oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus Christ. What has she done? She can't have done it. Not really. I couldn't see her at first, you see, not from that doorway, she was hidden by the bed. But then as I moved in, I saw... She was... She looked as if she'd lain on the bed for a bit and - I think she must have been in that much pain she - It looked as if she'd tried to get up - maybe for help - but she'd moved away from the door, you see, not towards it - towards that table instead. Maybe she wasn't conscious of where she was any more. Disoriented. But then I think what she was really trying to do was to get back to her music. She'd tried to get back to her music. Only she'd sort of slipped, you see, and was just lying there. They weren't just sleeping pills she'd taken - she'd swallowed every bloody thing she could lay her hands on –-she was bleeding from her mouth and her stomach... she must have been in such awful pain and I remember saying, over and over, no, no, no, no, no!

Joe: (softly) No...

From outside the door, the sound of the piano again.
But this time being played discordantly. Heavy, insistent, rapid, disturbing chords.
The three men freeze.
The chords cease as abruptly as they started. The sound of a piano lid slamming shut.

Andy: (in a low whisper) What's happening? What the hell's happening? Ken I think she's coming upstairs...

The sound of a distant door closing. Then, on a flight of wooden stairs, a woman's footsteps slowly ascending and approaching.
A pause.
Slowly the door handle starts to move up and down. The men remain frozen.

Woman: (softly, from the other side of the door) Dad... Dad... Dad...

The door handle continues to move.

Joe: (softly) Julia?

Andy: Oh, God...

Joe: Let her in. Do you hear me? Let her in. That's my daughter out there.

The door handle stops moving.
A long silence.
A sudden heavy pounding on the door, strong enough to cause the whole door frame to
As this continues, Joe recovers and steps forward to grab the door handle. Andy does likewise.
They wrestle over the handle.

Joe: Let her in! Do you hear me? Let her in!

Andy: (over this) You can't let her in. There's no way you're letting her in here.

Ken: (simultaneously, as he tries to separate them) You've got to let her go, don't you
understand? You have to release her, Mr Lukin, it's the only way...

Suddenly the door swings open violently.
The breeze-block wall has now gone to reveal a shabby, dimly lit hallway.
The men are swept aside as if by a violent wind which tears into the room. Books and
papers are scattered and blown about. A poster on the wall is violently ripped in half.
The door slams shut.
Andy and Ken have apparently been hurled to the ground and now lie at opposite sides of
the room.
But Joe has his eyes fixed on something, someone invisible, standing by the bed.

(Extract from Haunting Julia by Alan Ayckbourn)

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn, Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder