Wednesday, May 3, 2017

An Ayckbourn Feast!

A feast of Ayckbourn is being prepared by a company presenting 15 of the playwright's works during 2018 and 2019.
Dick & Lottie, the only amateur company in the UK dedicated to the works of Alan Ayckbourn, has just announced plans leading up to their 15th anniversary season in 2019.
Poster design & copyright:
Richard McArtney
They include the Damsels In Distress trilogy, a rep season of six plays and the first public reading of an Ayckbourn play not seen for more than 50 years!
Simon Murgatroyd, Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist and patron of Dick & Lottie, praised the enthusiasm and ambition of the company, whose Artistic Director is John Cotgrave.
"It's an extraordinarily ambitious programme of plays for one company and is going to be a phenomenal treat for fans of Alan Ayckbourn's plays.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic two years for the company and I'm delighted to be joining Dick & Lottie in presenting two plays from the Ayckbourn Archive which have rarely been seen."
During 2018, there will be productions of three classic Ayckbourn plays with Bedroom Farce, Private Fears In Public Places and A Chorus Of Disapproval.
Poster design & copyright:
Richard McArtney
Notably, A Chorus Of Disapproval will also include a special event which will include only the third ever production of Alan Ayckbourn's An Evening With PALOS, a short play featuring characters from A Chorus Of Disapproval written in 1987 for The Colin Blakeley Memorial. Archivist Simon Murgatroyd will also be giving a talk about both plays.
Private Fears In Public Places will be touring and is of particular significance to the company. In 2015, the company performed the play for Sir Alan himself in Scarborough.
The year will also see the company tackle Alan Ayckbourn's adaptation of Will Evans and Valentine's classic farce Tons Of Money.
This will lead into the company's 15th anniversary year in 2019 and their most ambitious programme of plays yet.
Throughout the course of the year, the company will be producing the Damels In Distress trilogy - GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay - which will culminate in a trilogy day during the latter part of the year when all three plays will be performed in one day.
Poster design & copyright:
Richard McArtney
Ayckbourn fans will also be excited to hear the company has been given permission for the anniversary by the playwright to give a rehearsed reading of his fourth play Standing Room Only. Written in 1964,  it is set on a double decker bus stuck in Shaftesbury Avenue in 2010 in a country whose roads have been in complete deadlock for decades.
The play has only had three productions - all between 1961 and 1966 - and this will mark the first time since 1966 that Alan Ayckbourn has given permission for the play to be performed. The rehearsed reading will be introduced by Simon Murgatroyd.
Finally, 2019 will also see Dick & Lottie move into a repertory season with Six For Six, six plays in six weeks by a company of 10 actors. The season will consist of Absent Friends, Joking Apart, Time And Time Again, Confusions, Absurd Person Singular and Just Between Ourselves.
It promises to be a remarkable two years for Dick & Lottie and further details will be announced in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Dick & Lottie still has two Ayckbourn plays programme this year as part of the Plays Of Chance season. Sisterly Feelings can be seen from 31 May to 1 June and It Could Be Any One Of Us from 17 - 21 October at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield.
Further details about Dick & Lottie and the forthcoming productions can be found at www.dickandlottie.com as well as via Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.

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