Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present: History

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is Alan Ayckbourn's 83rd full-length play which will premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 2019. The play opens during an 80th birthday party recognising the fact it was premiered during Alan Ayckbourn's own 80th birthday year.
Behind The Scenes
Alan Ayckbourn originally planned to premiere a play called Men, Meals & Me for summer 2019, before writing Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present for his anniversary year.
Written during October 2018 Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present was not initially intended as Alan Ayckbourn's play for 2019. During the spring of 2018, he had written the plays Men, Meals & Me which was intended to be his new play for the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 2019 summer season. However, issues with scheduling led Alan to write a play in October with a reduced cast of four people to run in repertory with a revival of his classic work Season's Greetings.

It is centred around Adrian, son of Micky and Meg, and his perceived reputation as a Lothario. Over the course of four celebrations - Micky's 80th birthday, Meg's 60th birthday, Adrian's 30th birthday and Adrian's sister's 18th birthday - it is revealed the truth may not be quite so straightforward. The play encompasses 38 years and runs backwards in time with each act moving back a number of years; previously Alan has shown characters moving back in time in
Time Of My Life.

Although it features a cast of four, there are actually seven characters in the play with one of the actors playing the four women in Adrian's life; a similar device Alan used previously in
Joking Apart for the women in Brian's life - although they are intended to each share a resemblance to each other.

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present will premiere on 4 September at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, appropriately marking the playwright's 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.