Woman in Mind
In 1986, Alan Ayckbourn announced he was to take a sabbatical from Scarborough to become a visiting director at the National Theatre in London. It would mark a watershed in his career and he would return from London with far more critical respect as a writer and director than when he left Scarborough.
His final play before he took his sabbatical from the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round was Woman In Mind. It was itself an unlikely departure for the playwright and was initially greeted by a mixed, even occasionally bewildered response. Yet its transfer to London and subsequent productions led to it being acclaimed as one of Alan Ayckbourn’s most powerful plays. To this day it stands as one of the significant turning points in Alan’s writing career and the wider perception of his work.
It is the only 'subjective' play written by Alan Ayckbourn; the entire play is seen through the eyes of Susan and reflects her perceptions of the world, and the only Ayckbourn play where the lead character, Susan, does not leave the stage at any point throughout the play.
Saturday, May 3 – Laxfield Village Hall
Friday, May 9 – Beccles Public Hall
Saturday, May 10 – Southwold, St Edmunds Hall
Friday, May 16 – Wingfield Barns
Saturday, May 17 – Bungay, Fisher Theatre
Thursday, May 22 – Diss Corn Hall
Saturday, May 24 – Halesworth, The Cut
Tickets £9.50 and £8.50 (concessions)
All performances start 7.30pm
Running time 2hrs 15mins (including interval)
Andrew Clarke, Woman’s breakdown in-the-round
Her husband (Geoff Cadman), her real son (Jake Kubala), her sister in law (Gill Mullen) and the hugely eccentric, comic doctor (Simon Evans) are cleverly interwoven with the idealism of her parallel family.
The oily fantasy husband (Paul Baker), his brother (Steven Phipps) and the daughter she always wanted (Emma Martin) see and despise the real people and offer her an escape into warmth, love and joy.
Action is in the garden with the audience on three sides, close to Ayckbourn’s beloved in-the-round approach, which involves everyone closely in her delusions.
Director David Green has surpassed himself with this one, achieving consummate performances from all his actors and creating a moving experience for all.