Ayckbourn’s sci-fi comedy set to tour after town dates

Stage Second Col May 25. ' Sarah Parks, Ayesha Antoine, Ben Porter, Alan Ayckbourn, Bill Champion, Laura Doddington, Richard Stacey
Stage Second Col May 25. ' Sarah Parks, Ayesha Antoine, Ben Porter, Alan Ayckbourn, Bill Champion, Laura Doddington, Richard Stacey
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Alan Ayckbourn’s sci-fi drama Surprises is hitting the road after its Scarborough run at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

“I describe it as a play with its head in the future, but with its heart in the past. Surprises is essentially several love stories but love stories that have a spin on them. It’s science fiction but used as an allegory – as most good sci-fi is – to reflect what’s happening today,” said the Scarborough-based playwright, who also directed the piece.

The tour will launch from Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on January 23 and then travel to Windsor, Bath, Oxford, Cheltenham, Watford, Cambridge and Richmond.

The original Scarborough cast of Ayesha Antoine, Bill Champion, Laura Doddington, Sarah Parks, Ben Porter and Richard Stacey will all reprise their roles for the production which is directed by the playwright.

Ayckbourn has started work on his 77th new play, as yet untitled, which will open at the Stephen Joseph Theatre next year.

Surprises was part of an Ayckbourn double will with a revival of Absurd Person Singular.