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Alan Ayckbourn's 90th play in new SJT season


Ayckbourn's 90th play Show and Tell, The Whitby Rebels and a new version of Aladdin feature in a strong new season from SJT
Ayckbourn's 90th play Show and Tell, The Whitby Rebels and a new version of Aladdin feature in a strong new season from SJT

The new 2024 season at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre includes adaptations of two classic novels, two stirring Yorkshire stories, a Christmas show and the 90th play, no less, from the SJT’s world-renowned Director Emeritus.

Alan Ayckbourn's 90th play, Show & Tell (September 5-October 5, 2024), is billed as "a celebration of theatre" and is also directed by Ayckbourn. Jack is planning a big party for his wife’s birthday. He’s pulling out all the stops and has booked a touring theatre company to perform in the family home. The only problem is Jack’s getting a bit forgetful in his old age and can’t remember all the details of the booking. Meanwhile, The Homelight Theatre Company is on its knees; Jack’s booking is very well paid and the shot-in-the-arm the company needs. But pinning him down on the details has been tricky, and something doesn’t feel quite right...

The season kicks off with a new adaptation of Northanger Abbey (March 27-April 13) by Zoe Cooper, from Austen's novel – a co-production with Bolton Octagon, Theatre By The Lake and the Orange Tree.

It’s followed by Dracula: The Bloody Truth (July 3-27). A new, not as we know it Dracula from the team behind the caper The 39 Steps and the UK Theatre Award-nominated The Comedy of Errors (More or Less). Again it's a co-production with Bolton Octagon.

Full season includes Northanger Abbey, Dracula: The Bloody Truth, and Brassed Off
Full season includes Northanger Abbey, Dracula: The Bloody Truth, and Brassed Off

Brassed Off (August 2-31), is another co-production, this time with Bolton and Keswick's Theatre by the Lake. Paul Allen's adaptation from Mark Harmon's screenplay has been much-loved for years, and this modern classic is full of heart and northern humour. The production, like many, will feature live music from local brass bands.

The Whitby Rebels by Bea Roberts (October 18-November 2) is the mostly true story of how, in the summer of 1991, a humble pleasure boat set sail from Whitby harbour for the Arctic, crewed by misfits, pensioners and a vicar. The crew was assembled by Captain Jack Lammiman to complete a daring mission: to erect a plaque honouring Whitby whaling captain William Scoresby Senior on a volcanic island hundreds of miles north of Iceland. Their voyage is a classic of British eccentricity and determination. A new version of Aladdin (November 29-December 28) is 2024's Christmas show. September will also bring a special fundraising event with Alan Ayckbourn, Mr A’s Amazing Days (September 13-15, 2024). It will include a rehearsed reading of one of several plays the renowned writer penned during Covid lockdown as well as other treats. Stephen Joseph Theatre artistic director Paul Robinson said: “We’ve got a whole year of great drama and comedy to raise your spirits. Our programme this year is designed to send you home with a spring in your step!”

More info and tickets here

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