Alan Ayckbourn marks 80th with new Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present play

Playwright Alan Ayckbourn has no intention of resting on his past successes.

He celebrates his 80th birthday this year with a new play – his 83rd – called Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present which premieres at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough this September.

Written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn the comedy will star Jamie Baughan, Jemma Churchill, Russell Dixon and Naomi Petersen.

It’s Micky’s 80th birthday, and he and his wife Meg are awaiting the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his new (and latest) fiancée, Grace.

Adrian has, according to his parents, a certain reputation regarding women, and they feel meek, mild-mannered Grace should surely be warned of this.

But are things really as they appear? As birthday follows birthday, the truth is finally revealed about Adrian, the suburban closet Lothario.

Alan Ayckbourn says: “It’s no coincidence that this is a special year for me, being my 80th. I like to pin things on anniversaries, and I thought ‘why not birthdays?’

“But it’s a bit conventional to have one person maybe having his 20th birthday and his 50th and then 80th birthdays, so I thought it would be fun to do it backwards.

“Usually in plays, we see the cause first and the effects follow on, but in this case, we see the effect first and our first question is, just how did we get there?

“It’s really a story about a man who’s trying to deal with and understand women; it’s a sort of companion piece to my 2017 play, A Brief History Of Women.”

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present can be seen in the Round at the SJT, in rep, from Wednesday 4 September to Saturday 5 October 2019.

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