Alan Ayckbourn's newest play now in rehearsal ahead of its Scarborough premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre

Naomi Petersen and Jamie Baughan in rehearsal
Naomi Petersen and Jamie Baughan in rehearsal

A new play from Alan Ayckbourn is in rehearsal  and opens at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre next month.

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is the author’s 83rd play and premieres in the year of his 80th birthday.

Directed by the author, it will be performed by a cast of four: Jamie Baughan, Jemma Churchill, Russell Dixon and Naomi Petersen

It’s Micky’s 80th birthday, and he and his wife Meg are awaiting the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his new - and latest - fiancée, Grace.

Adrian has, according to his parents, a certain reputation regarding women, and they feel meek, mild-mannered Grace should surely be warned of this. But are things really as they appear? As birthday follows birthday, the truth is finally revealed about Adrian, the suburban closet Lothario.

Alan Ayckbourn said: “It’s no coincidence that this is a special year for me, being my 80th. I like to pin things on anniversaries, and I thought ‘why not birthdays?’

“But it’s a bit conventional to have one person maybe having his 20th birthday and his 50th and then 80th birthdays, so I thought it would be fun to do it backwards.

“Usually in plays, we see the cause first and the effects follow on, but in this case, we see the effect first and our first question is, just how did we get there?

“It’s really a story about a man who’s trying to deal with and understand women; it's a sort of companion piece to my 2017 play, A Brief History Of Women.”

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present can be seen in the Round in rep, from Wednesday September 4 to Saturday October 5.

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