Ayckbourn play for Arundel Players

Arundel Players will start the year with a production of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking, a play seen in a professional touring production at Chichester Festival Theatre late last year.

Richard Greenhorn           photo by Rosey Purchase
Richard Greenhorn photo by Rosey Purchase

Arundel’s version will be at The Priory Playhouse Theatre, London Road, Arundel, BN18 9FA from January 23 to 28 at 7.30pm.

The play, which was Ayckbourn’s first major West End hit, will be directed by Richard Greenhorn, best known for his acting roles in many of Arundel Players’ most successful productions.

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Richard, who lives in Worthing, has a background steeped in the theatre having been involved in theatre management at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing, the Theatre Royal in Brighton and the Old Vic in London: “I’ve directed several musicals, including The Sound of Music in which I also played Captain von Trapp, Annie and Follow the Star, but this is my first experience directing a play,” admitted Richard.

“Relatively Speaking has its challenges, but what a great first play to direct. It’s easy to understand why it catapulted Ayckbourn into becoming a household name. It’s got a very well constructed plot involving just four characters, and the script is a brilliant comedy of misunderstanding and mistaken identity.”

The play revolves around two couples: Ginny, played by Suzanne Britten who has a chequered past, is sexually mature, attractive to men and is quick in finding ways to explain awkward truths.

Ginny’s current boyfriend is Greg, played by Ben Cassan.He’s sometimes over confident, but has a vulnerable side and is something of an innocent in the ways of the world and relationships.

“The older couple are Philip, played by Roger Booth and his wife, Sheila, played by Tracy Clayton. Philip sees himself as a successful man of the world and who is attractive to women. He’s a deceiving philanderer, with a self-righteous side to him and is prone to being indignant.

“Sheila is a good natured, pleasant, dependable wife with hints of internal pain at her husband’s infidelity.

“The play opens in Ginny’s London flat when she is getting ready to have a day in the country. Meanwhile, naive Greg has found a strange pair of slippers under the bed and is too besotted to believe they might have been left by another man.

“The action then moves into Philip and Sheila’s Buckinghamshire patio garden where they are enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning breakfast. Greg has decided to go to the country too to where he believes Ginny is going to meet her parents, but he arrives before her. It is at this point the misunderstandings develop!”

Tickets: 07523 417926 or www.arundelplayers.org.uk.

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