Scarborough’s Alan Ayckbourn and Stephen Joseph Theatre in TIME’s top 10

Arrivals and Departures
Arrivals and Departures

Alan Ayckbourn’s plays have been named in TIME magazine’s Top 10 shows of 2014 – and commended by New York critics.

The playwright’s 77th play Arrivals & Departures, with two shorts in Farcicals and a revival of his 1992 play Time Of My Life, premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in the summer of 2013.

Collectively known as the Ayckbourn Ensemble, the plays were directed by Ayckbourn at New York’s 59E59 Theatres in the Brits Off Broadway festival.

In his annual theatre highlights, New York Times chief theatre critic Ben Brantley heaped acclaim on the productions giving a mention to an “impeccably performed mini festival of Alan Ayckbourn plays”.

The recognition comes only days after Arrivals and Departures was named in the Top 10 Plays and Musicals of 2014 by TIME, the American weekly news magazine. TIME theatre critic Richard Zoglin praised “the British master’s knack for pushing stage boundaries” and said “Ayckbourn’s own direction, as usual, never pushes for laughs or tears, but earns them both.”

Alan Ayckbourn said: “Once again, the Stephen Joseph Theatre has shown that it’s right up there with the best of them.”