STAGE TUBE: Alan Ayckbourn Talks SURPRISES!
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Love stories yet to happen, in a future filled with surprises. Who is the amorous stranger, Titus, who materialises in young Grace’s bedroom? Can she believe he is who he says he is? For her parents, Franklin and Martha, does love everlasting still hold true if death is postponed indefinitely? Can lawyer, Lorraine, who prides herself on her infallibility, have finally discovered the ideal partner, one who is also never wrong? Will lonely secretary Sylvia, after unhappy affairs with everyone from deep sea divers and space shuttle pilots, ever find her Mr Right?
As one of Britain’s most performed playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn has, to date, written 76 plays. Almost all received their first performance at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, with more than 35 of his works being subsequently staged in the West End, at The National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval, A Small Family Business, Henceforward…, Comic Potential, Things We Do For Love and House & Garden.
Recent revivals include Matthew Warchus’ 2009 hit production of The Norman Conquests seen at the Old Vic and then on Broadway; a highly acclaimed staging in 2010 by The National Theatre of his 1980 play Season’s Greetings and this year an equally successful Absent Friends directed by Jeremy Herrin at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre. In the fall, Trevor Nunn will direct A Chorus of Disapproval for the West End. Although Ayckbourn stepped down as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph in 2009, a post he held for 37 years, he continues to guest direct there; this season he has directed a 40th anniversary production of Absurd Person Singular to be joined in late July by his 76th play, Surprises. Part of the Cultural Olympiad this will later be seen at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre.
His plays have been translated into 35 languages, won numerous awards nationally and internationally, have been performed worldwide on stage and television, and been filmed in French and English. In recent years, he has been inducted into American Theatre's Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics' Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre.
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