No joke for Nottingham’s first Ayckbourn in a decade

Published: 19 January 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Joking Apart in rehearsal Credit: Robert Day

Nottingham Playhouse is to stage an Alan Ayckbourn play for the first time in more than ten years.

Joking Apart is one of Ayckbourn’s darker and lesser-known plays. Set over 12 years spanning the late 1960s and 1970s, it tells the story of Richard and Anthea—a seemingly perfect couple whom their friends and neighbours hate to love.

It explores "the profound effect Richard and Anthea’s happiness has on the lives of those around them” and “unrelenting themes of ageing, jealousy and unrequited love".

Ayckbourn has frequently said that Joking Apart is one of his favourites in his 76-strong collection.

Joking Apart, a co-production with Salisbury Playhouse, will be directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace who directed Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream at Salisbury in 2011.

Design is by Tom Rogers, lighting design by Johanna Town and sound design by Paul Hodgson.

Joking Apart runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Saturday (26 January) until Saturday 16 February before transferring to Salisbury from 27 February until 23 March.