York Festival of Ideas: Ayckbourn Shorts

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Friday 22 June 2012, 7.30PM

A richly funny programme of rare gems by the world’s most performed comic playwright.

In 2011 Sir Alan Ayckbourn entrusted the University with custodianship of his archive.

The archive includes a rich array of short plays, written for special occasions, which have been performed only once, and have never been published.

With Sir Alan’s permission, we are now staging seven of the most outstanding short works from this collection in a single programme.

They reflect the extraordinary brilliance and variety of his comic invention.  

We can promise you an evening of hidden treasures, combined with a couple of classic shorts, ranging from farce to horror, from the bitter-sweet to the surreal.

The plays’ scenarios include a sinister encounter with an illusionist who likes sawing women in half, a visit by Count Dracula, a reunion with the cast of Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval (who still hate each other intensely, with outrageous results), and a life-and-death combat between a lighting man and a sound man who want the same girl, and who each uses the tricks of his trade to immobilise his rival.

The last play, in particular, will give the company the chance to exploit to the full the state-of-the-art resources of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television’s main theatre.

The cast and production crew for the show are drawn from the Department.

The production is directed by the professional director Tom Wright, who is currently delivering a sequence of comedy workshops on Ayckbourn in the Department’s unique resources for students from neighbouring schools and colleges.  His productions include The Container (Edinburgh Festival and Young Vic, Fringe First and Amnesty International Award-winner).  He is also Associate Director of Freedom Studios.

We hope you will join us for this special opportunity to sample some extraordinary treats from the pen of the most performed living playwright.

Performances take place at 7:30pm on the 22nd and 23rd June 2012. 

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Location: The Theatre, Department of Theatre Film and Television, Heslington East Campus, University of York

Admission: Tickets are £4 for concessions and £6 for standard tickets. Available from the York Theatre Royal Box Office (01904 623568 or online at www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk). Tickets booked online can be collected from the Theatre Royal or at the Theatre in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on the night of the performance.

Email: tftv-enquiries@york.ac.uk

Telephone: 01904 325220