Friday, June 26, 2015

A Unique Ayckbourn Opportunity

An epic new work by Alan Ayckbourn has just been announced for a unique event at the Stephen Joseph Theatre as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.
Alan Ayckbourn
Copyright: Andrew Higgins
The Divide is a four-part satire of the sexes, written for more than thirty voices. An exclusive semi-staged reading on 27 September will feature the cast of Alan Ayckbourn's company - performing Confusions and Hero's Welcome at the SJT this summer - as well as special guest appearances.
Proceeds from the unique event will support the commissioning and production of new work at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Not so long ago, let it not be forgotten, as decreed by The Preacher, Men and Women lived apart on separate sides of the Divide in segregated isolation. The celebrated novelist Soween Clay-Flin recalls this period in our recent history with dramatised readings based on documents of the period, including her own personal diary as a young girl who lived through it and survived to tell the tale.

Alan Ayckbourn said: “The Divide is something of an experiment. It’s a deliberate attempt to jump away from anything familiar to me. It’s a dialogue based upon two diaries; one of a boy and one of a girl growing up in a weird world.”
The gala reading takes place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough on Sunday 27 September from 3pm to 9.30pm and will include two intervals and a supper break. This is a special one-off event and will not be repeated.
Tickets, priced from £15 to £60 (£60 includes supper), go on general sale at 10am on Thursday 2 July and will be available from the SJT box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Alan Ayckbourn revives Confusions

Rehearsals are now well underway for Alan Ayckbourn's forthcoming revival of his play Confusions at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
This revival marks the first time the playwright has directed the play since the original production at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1974.
Russell Dixon & Emma Manton in rehearsals for Confusions
Copyright: Jordan Lonsdale
It runs at the SJT from 9 July to 26 September and its official opening night coincides with the theatre’s 60th anniversary on 14 July.
The play consist of five loosely related one act plays: Mother Figure, Drinking Companion, Between Mouthfuls, A Talk In The Park and - most famously - Gosforth's Fete.
Elizabeth Boag, Emma Manton, Richard Stacey & Russell Dixon
in rehearsals for Confusions
Copyright: Jordan Lonsdale
Alan Ayckbourn directs and the company features Stephen Billington, Elizabeth Boag, Russell Dixon, Emma Manton and Richard Stacey. Design is by Michael Holt with lighting by Jason Taylor.
Confusions can be seen at the SJT on various dates from Thursday 9 July to Saturday 26 September. Tickets, priced from £10 to £24.50, are available from the Box Office on 01723 370541 and online via www.sjt.uk.com.
Alan Ayckbourn & Stephen Billington
during rehearsals for Confusions
Copyright: Jordan Lonsdale

Friday, June 12, 2015

Alan Ayckbourn returns to Confusions

This summer Alan Ayckbourn is directing his play Confusions for the first time since its world premiere as part of the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 60th anniversary.
Alan Ayckbourn (centre) with
the Confusions company
©Jordan Lonsdale
Confusions premiered at the company’s first home, the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1974 and has since become one of Alan Ayckbourn's most popular plays. Its opening night will coincide with the company's 60th anniversary on 14 July.
Alan Ayckbourn said: “Confusions is an interesting stepping stone for me as you can see where the future is - Absent Friends, but you can also see the past - How The Other Half Loves - which is pure situation.
“It was written at a time when I wanted theatre to primarily show off actors, I still do really, but in those days I thought people loved the idea of actors playing different roles and becoming different people. There is something marvellous about that which is still peculiarly theatrical; if an actor becomes someone right in front of your very eyes or changes from one person to another, you can still believe there’s a bit of magic somewhere.”
The production will see two actors, Stephen Billington and Emma Manton, making their debut with the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Stephen is known for playing Coronation Street villain Greg Kelly and recently Danny Lomax in Hollyoaks. Emma appeared last year with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won and has performed at the National Theatre.
Returning to the company are Elizabeth Boag, Russell Dixon and Richard Stacey who have all previously worked with Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough and on tour.
They will later be joined by Terenia Edwards, who will be appearing with them in the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's latest play, Hero's Welcome, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre from 4 September to 3 October.
Confusions is directed by Alan Ayckbourn with design by Michael Holt and lighting design by Jason Taylor.
Confusions can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on various dates from Thursday 9 July to Saturday 26 September. Tickets, priced from £10 to £24.40, are available from the Box Office on 01723 370541 and online via www.sjt.uk.com.