A unique afternoon with Alan Ayckbourn at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre – rehearsed reading of Absurd Person Singular

A special fundraising event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular will take place at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre on Sunday June 26.

By Sue Wilkinson
Friday, 10th June 2022, 12:04 pm
Sir Alan Ayckbourn in his garden
Sir Alan Ayckbourn in his garden

Considered by many to be the world-famous writer’s greatest play, Absurd Person Singular received its world premiere at the Stephen Joseph’s former home in Scarborough Library on June 26 1972.

Fifty years later to the day, the author is directing a cast of some of his favourite actors – Elizabeth Boag, Bill Champion, Russell Dixon, Linford Johnson, Alexandra Mathie and Naomi Petersen – in a rehearsed reading of the play to raise funds for the New Writing Fund at the theatre which is a registered charity.

Set in three kitchens over three Christmases, Absurd Person Singular charts the relentless rise of the socially aspiring Hopcrofts at the expense of two other couples.

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Alan Ayckbourn said: “Absurd Person Singular was never originally the intended title for this particular play but, come to think of it, is a title that describes all my plays in a way, both the funny and the sad ones.

“Indeed someone once pointed out it is a description which could even apply to their author!”

The afternoon will start with a talk by Alan’s Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, at noon, followed by the reading at 3pm. The event will end with a question and answer session.

Tickets, priced at £5 for the talk, and £15 and £35 for the reading, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com