Bondage and relationships

Laura Doddington indulges her love of Alan Ayckbourn’s work in Communicating Doors which tours to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford from May 5 to 14.

She’s worked with Sir Alan before and is delighted to do so again.

“He is a joy to work with. The roles that I have been lucky enough to play have been fantastic. He writes for women brilliantly. A lot of women came to see the last show I did, The Life Of Reilly, and were saying how does he manage to understand women so well.

“His observations of everyone, man and woman, are just fantastic. He is so spot on about the way that we all emote and communicate and talk, the way that we deal with situations. He is just such a brilliant writer.”

And director too.

“He lets you experiment and explore and learn. He doesn’t make you feel in any way self-conscious in the rehearsal room. He lets you learn for yourself - though he does very gently guide you to the right place. If you went way off tangent, he would tell you that you weren’t quite right! But he is just so freeing in the rehearsal room, he makes people feel so confident.

“I think the point is that he trusts the actors he has employed. He is not controlling. An actor is always a pawn on the director’s chessboard, but after the read-through you are up and running. Some directors will spend the first week going through the characters, analysing them, what they are thinking - which is fine for some actors. But Alan is very different.”

Communicating Doors, in which Laura is joined by Liza Goddard, Jamie Kenna and Ben Porter, is set in a hotel suite that travels from 1974 to 2014.

“It’s about time travel. It’s the story of a girl that turns up in the wrong place at the wrong time and finds herself caught up in quite a dangerous situation with some pretty dangerous people. In trying to escape she finds herself in a cupboard - and communicating doors!

“I play a prostitute from 2030 - and a bondage prostitute at that! It’s a play about human relationships. Alan says that it is about the choices that we make as human beings, how we make those choices and how they affect us.

“It’s about those situations - and it is terribly funny, of course. But it is also quite terrifying in places!”

Tickets on 01483 440000.