London Classic Theatre today announce a new UK tour of their postponed 20th anniversary production of Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn. Michael Cabot directs 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).
The production opens at Derby Theatre on 16 June, before touring to Coventry, Malvern, Guildford, Peterborough, Weston-Super-Mare, Cheltenham, Bury St Edmunds, Bath, Doncaster, Winchester, Ilfracombe, Chelmsford and Exeter, concluding at Theatr Clwyd on 16 October. All performances will be staged in line with current government guidelines.
Artistic Director Michael Cabot said today “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. Rehearsals start in four weeks and we can’t wait!”
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 to hilarious effect as, one by one, the characters seek refuge in Jane’s kitchen.
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 first premièred in 1972 and was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.
Alan Ayckbourn is an award-winning playwright. His 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), Henceforward (Evening Standard Best Comedy 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), The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Stranger (Southwark Playhouse), A-Team: The Musical (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh), Coalition (Pleasance, Edinburgh and Islington) 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 Hard Times (Oldham Coliseum), The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre), Echoes (Arcola Theatre) The King’s Speech (Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Black Coffee (UK tour), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal/UK tour) and Gore (Charing Cross 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/UK tour), Yap Yap Yap (Battersea Arts Centre), Half, To the End (Southwark Playhouse) and A Summer Day’s Dream (Finborough Theatre).
Rosanna Miles plays Marion Brewster-Wright. Previous theatre credits include Below Stairs (Arts Theatre), The Crucible (UK tour), When Holly Met Ivy (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Cinderella (Winchester Theatre Royal), Walking the Tightrope (Arcola Theatre), Beyond Nora (Exeter Northcott Theatre), Le Jardin (Bath Theatre Royal) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK tour). Television credits include The Grimleys, Teachers and Specials.
Graham O’Mara plays Ronald Brewster-Wright. Previous credits for the company include No Man’s Land. Other theatre credits include Government Inspector and The Three Musketeers (Young Vic), Borders (Arcola Theatre), BU21 (Trafalgar Studios), Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wind in the Willows (Storyhouse, Chester), Sense and Sensibility (The Watermill Theatre), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), A Man of Letters (Orange Tree Theatre) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds). For television, his credits include Friday Night Dinner, Sirens and The Queen: 1974.
Paul Sandys plays Sidney Hopcroft. Previous credits for the company include Private Lives, Entertaining Mr Sloane and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include Peter Pan (New Vic Theatre) and Friend or Foe (UK tour). For television, his credits include Apple Tree House and for film, his credits include The Sprint King.
Michael Cabot directs and is the founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre. He has directed all forty-one LCT productions since their touring debut in 2000, including No Man’s Land, My Mother Said I Never Should, Private Lives, Hysteria, The Birthday Party, Waiting for Godot, Absent Friends, Entertaining Mr Sloane and Equus. His freelance work as director includes three recent collaborations with award-winning playwright Henry Naylor, The Collector (Arcola Theatre & UK tour), Angel and Borders (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).
London Classic Theatre present
ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR
Written by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Michael Cabot; Set design by Simon Scullion; Costume design by Kate Lyons
Lighting design by Andy Grange
16 June – 16 October 2021
Press Night: Thursday 17 June, 7.30pm at Derby Theatre
ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR
16 – 19 June
Box Office: www.derbytheatre.co.uk / 01332 593939
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
23 – 26 June
Box Office: www.belgrade.co.uk / 024 7655 3055
29 June – 3 July
Box Office: www.malvern-theatres.co.uk / 01684 892277
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
6 – 10 July
Box Office: www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk / 01483 440000
Key Theatre, Peterborough
13 – 14 July
Box Office: www.vivacity.org/theatres/key-theatre / 01733 207239
The Playhouse, Weston-Super-Mare
16 – 18 July
Box Office: www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Playhouse-Theatre / 01934 645544
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
3 – 7 August
Box Office: www.everymantheatre.org.uk / 01242 572573
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
10 – 14 August
Box Office: www.theatreroyal.org / 01284 769505
Theatre Royal Bath
31 August – 4 September
Box Office: www.theatreroyal.org.uk / 01225 448844
14 – 15 September
Box Office: www.castindoncaster.com / 01302 303959
Theatre Royal Winchester
21 – 25 September
Box Office: www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk / 01962 840440
The Landmark, Ilfracombe
28 – 29 September
Box Office: www.landmark-ilfracombe.com / 01271 316523
Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
1 – 2 October
Box Office: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres / 01245 606505
Exeter Northcott Theatre
5 – 9 October
Box Office: www.exeternorthcott.co.uk / 01392 726363
12 – 16 October
Box Office: www.theatrclwyd.com / 01352 344101