Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular plays Guildford

Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from July 6 to 10 in London Classic Theatre’s postponed 20th-anniversary production.

Absurd Person Singular
Absurd Person Singular

It features three married couples. Three kitchens. Three Christmas parties.

Sidney Hopcroft, a small-time tradesman, persuades wife Jane to throw a party hoping to find favour with a bank manager and local architect. As celebrations begin, class differences and naked ambition combine as, one by one, the characters seek refuge in Jane’s kitchen.

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Over the next two years, the Jacksons and Brewster-Wrights take turns to host festivities. But Sidney’s star has begun to rise and roles are increasingly reversed as the cracks in the other couples’ marriages begin to show.

Absurd Person Singular premiered in 1972 and was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy offering a comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia fusing farce with black comedy.

London Classic Theatre’s artistic director Michael Cabot directs the returning cast: John Dorney (Geoffrey Jackson), Felicity Houlbrooke (Jane Hopcroft), Helen Keeley (Eva Jackson), Rosanna Miles (Marion Brewster-Wright), Graham O’Mara (Ronald Brewster-Wright) and Paul Sandys (Sidney Hopcroft).

Michael said: “We are thrilled to be getting back on the road again. After such a turbulent and challenging year, we are looking forward to reconnecting with audiences and playing our part in the return of live theatre around the UK. We have been in regular contact with our cast and stage management throughout the shutdown and I’m delighted that they are all returning for the new tour. They are a fantastic team and it will be wonderful to see them all back at work, doing what they do best.”

Tickets are being sold in socially-distanced bubbles of up to six people or two households.

Alan Ayckbourn’s theatre credits include The Norman Conquests (Evening Standard Best Play Award and Tony Award For Best Revival Of A Play), Bedroom Farce, Just Between Ourselves (Evening Standard Best Play Award), A Chorus of Disapproval (Olivier Award for Best Comedy and Evening Standard Best Comedy Award), Woman in Mind, A Small Family Business (Evening Standard Best Play Award), Man of the Moment (Evening Standard Best Comedy Award), House & Garden and Private Fears in Public Places, among others.

John Dorney plays Geoffrey Jackson. Previous credits for the company include Hysteria, Absent Friends, The Caretaker and Humble Boy. Other theatre credits include Flight, Peter Pan (National Theatre), Better Watch Out (Hampstead Theatre), At the Back, Out of Focus (Soho Theatre), Volpone (Wilton’s Music Hall) and Seasons Greetings (Union Theatre).

Felicity Houlbrooke plays Jane Hopcroft. Previous credits for the company include My Mother Said I Never Should and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre), Echoes (Arcola Theatre) and The King’s Speech (Chichester Festival Theatre..

Helen Keeley plays Eva Jackson. Previous credits for the company include Private Lives and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (Trafalgar Studios).