North and south do battle in play

Emily Bowker stars in a new tour of Torbin Betts invincible
Emily Bowker stars in a new tour of Torbin Betts invincible

The Original Theatre Company is back on the road in its production of Torben Betts’s critically-acclaimed Invincible and can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough next month.

Directed by Christopher Harper, the show plays at the venue from Wednesday February 22 to Saturday February 25.

Alastair Whatley, Emily Bowker and Graham Brookes reprise the roles of Oliver, Emily and Alan, and Stephen Joseph Theatre regular Ryedale’s Elizabeth Boag joins the 2017 tour as Dawn.

Elizabeth was brought up in Pickering and has been seen at the Stephen Joseph in 2013’s Arrivals and Departures and Farcicals and Roundelay in 2014, and in 2015’s Confusions and Hero’s Welcome which played to great acclaim as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival in New York early last year.

Artistic director of the Original Theatre Company Alastair Whatley said: “We are delighted to be taking Invincible back on the road.

“Torben’s state-of-the-nation comedy reached out to audiences across the UK in 2016 with his vision of a nation divided, cleft in two down the Watford Gap. We look forward to navigating the play through post-Brexit Britain in 2017.”

With the recession biting hard, Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England.

One night, they open their doors to their next-door neighbours, Dawn and Alan.

Over the course of a disastrous evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art, class and culture collide resulting in consequences that are both tragic and hilarious.

Invincible had its world premiere at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond in 2014 and transferred later that same year to St James Theatre, London.

Torben Betts was born in Lincolnshire and studied at Liverpool University.

He became the resident dramatist at the Stephen Joseph in 1999. Poet and dramatist Liz Lochhead said he “is just about the most original and extraordinary writer of drama we have”.

His play The Unconquered won Best New Play 2006/07 at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. In 2015 there was a revival of his acclaimed 2012 play Muswell Hill at London’s Park Theatre.

Invincible can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre at 7.30pm on Wednesday February 22 and Friday 
February 24; at 1.30pm and 7pm on Thursday February 23; and at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday February 25.

Tickets are priced from £10 to £24.50, and are available from the box office on 01723 370541 or online at www.sjt.uk.com