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Global legend Alan Ayckbourn back on stage


Alan Ayckbourn and Christopher Godwin (r) - together on stage again
Alan Ayckbourn and Christopher Godwin (r) - together on stage again

Globally renowned playwright Alan Ayckbourn will make a rare outing as an actor at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre next month (17, 2.30pm).

The author will be on stage in the role of Jim in a rehearsed reading of his own play, Truth Will Out, which was originally due to be staged in 2020 but was another pandemic cancellation.

Also in the cast is one of his regular company members, Christopher Godwin, directed by the playwright many times over the years– including in the world premieres of Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests and most recently, Better Off Dead. But the pair last appeared on stage together as actors in 1963!

The duo will be joined by the cast of Ayckbourn’s 89th play, Constant Companions, currently playing at the Scarborough theatre (September 7-October 7, see here).

Truth Will Out is an up-to-the-minute satire on family, relationships, politics and the state of the nation. This rehearsed reading will be the first time the author has heard it read aloud.

Everyone has secrets. Certainly former shop steward George, his right-wing MP daughter Janet, investigative journalist Peggy, and senior civil servant Sefton do, and all it’s going to take is one tech-savvy teenager with a mind of his own and time on his hands to bring their worlds tumbling down – and maybe everyone else’s along with them... Alan Ayckbourn – the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony special lifetime achievement awards – started his career as a stage manager and actor and went on to become a legendary and prolific playwright whose works are seen all over the globe. Most of his plays have premiered at the SJT, where he was artistic director for many years before stepping down in 2009 to become the theatre's Director Emeritus, returning each summer to direct his latest work. .

He said: “The last time I acted on stage opposite Christopher Godwin was in Dylan Thomas’s The Doctor and the Devils in Cardiff in 1963.” The reading of Truth Will Out is part of a series of fund-raising events for the theatre, whose fund-raising and development officer Stephanie Dattani said: “We're hugely grateful for Alan and to the rest of the company for doing this special reading for us, which will raise funds for more exciting new work.”

Info and tickets here

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