Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn - DADS

21 November 2018 - 7:45pm - 24 November 2018 - 7:45pm

It was probably inevitable that Director Mike Lord’s choice of play for his directing debut with DADS would be written by Alan Ayckbourn. After being tipped off by DADS, Mike attended a residential summer school course last year on Directing Ayckbourn, tutored by actor Richard Stacey, who has worked for many years with Alan Ayckbourn, funded with a bursary from the Oxfordshire Drama Network.

Which play would Mike choose though? As of 2018 Ayckbourn has published 82 full length plays.  Mike proposed Joking Apart, which Alan Ayckbourn is on record as saying, of all his own plays it, is one of his favourites. Mike comments, When I chose Joking Apart for DADS, I'd no idea it was the fortieth anniversary of its premiere. Then, shortly afterwards, I discovered that Alan Ayckbourn was directing an anniversary revival in Scarborough this summer. To add to the coincidence, I saw publicity photos of the rehearsals showing my former tutor Richard as one of the cast. There was obviously something in the air!' 

A comedy, like many of Ayckbourn’s plays, Joking Apart was apparently written in response to an angry woman who said to him, 'Hundreds of us live very happily with one another. Why can't you write about us?' So he did but, as you might expect with Ayckbourn, there’s a twist in the tail.  This painfully funny play is ostensibly about a happy couple, Richard and Anthea (played by Ian Brace and Carol-Anne Tilley), and their daughter Debbie (Phoebe Scotland), for whom everything seems to fall into place.  However, everyone else suffers because of their happiness, and quiet misery, unrequited love and jealousy befall the people closest to them: their immediate neighbours, the innocent local vicar Hugh (Jim Cottrell) and his wife Louise (Rosemary Mills); Sven his business partner (Mark Williams) who is married to Olive (Kate Phillips);and the couple’s friend Brian (Russell Bailey).

Joking Apart will be performed in Dorchester on Thames Village Hall from 21st– 24th November 2018. Tickets are available via the DADS website and from the Dorchester Co-op.