Sunday, May 02, 2010

Taking Steps

This Friday marks the opening of the last play for this season and it is a corker. Alan Ayckbourn reckons to have only written two farces, a job for the experienced playwright, and this is one of them. It was dedicated to the immortal farceur Ben Travers when it opened on September 28th 1979 in Scarborough where his plays regularly first see the light of day. The opening night ran for 17 minutes longer than the dress rehearsal because of the laughter. This was so loud it blew the theatre's ancient relay system.
It went on to become one of the biggest hits at the theatre since it opened in 1955 and a huge commercial success there becoming the first play to run for more than 100 performances there.
Michael Billington describes it as: a 'riotously funny farce – it also reminds us that farce at its very best is inescapably about something: in this case, women's hunger for freedom and the difficulties of rational communication.'
Ayckbourn talks of plausible people in improbable situations.

The play is directed by Ana Atteck who directed 'Absurd Person Singular' last year. Surviving from the cast of that play are Jules Vander ( also a memorable Mrs Wicksteed in 'Habeas Corpus' to underline her comedy credentials) and Stephen Burns. The cast is made up with  Salon Established performers. 

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