Ayckbourn double at festival theatre

Laura Doddignton in Surprises. Photo by Robert Day.
Laura Doddignton in Surprises. Photo by Robert Day.

DRAMA fans heading south can enjoy a new play by one of Britain’s most popular and acclaimed playwrights alongside one of his award-winning establish comedies in a double feature at this year’s Chichester Festival Theatre.

Surprises is the gently funny and poignant depiction of several intertwined love stories set in the near future that explore the central theme of longevity.

Absurd Person Singular follows three couples in three kitchens over three Christmases. This darkly comic story of culinary disasters, emotional breakdowns and social climbing established the tragi-comic genre that has become synonymous with Ayckbourn’s finest writing. In 1974 it won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy. The two plays are co-productions with Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and feature one company of actors.

Surprises runs in rep on the Minerva stage, from August 8 for a month while Absurd Person Singular starts its run two days later.

Opening up Surprises is a pre-show talk in which Alan Ayckbourn joins Kate Mosse in conversation about his new play. The event is in the Minerva Theatre on August 14. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the box office.

The two productions are part on the London 2012 Festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation across the UK.

For tickets and info book online at www.cft.org.uk or call the box office on 01243 781312