Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present: World Premiere Reviews

This page contains a selection of reviews from the world premiere production of Alan Ayckbourn's Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 2019. All reviews are the copyright of the respective publication and / or author.

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present – masterful Ayckbourn unwraps a family feud
(The Guardian)
Dramatists, from George S Kaufman and Moss Hart in Merrily We Roll Along to Harold Pinter in Betrayal, have long been experimenting with reverse chronology. But the ever-inventive Alan Ayckbourn gives it a new spin in his joyous 83rd play by reminding us that a situation becomes even funnier or sadder if we have a shrewd idea in advance of what is going to happen.
Ayckbourn, who turned 80 in April, tracks back in time to look at four birthdays in the same family over four decades. He starts with the 80th of a crusty former coach driver, Micky, who along with his wife Meg, awaits the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his latest girlfriend, Grace.
Unfortunately Micky sees it as his moral duty to warn the churchgoing Grace that the mild-mannered Adrian is a Jekyll and Hyde whose relationships have been ruined by his inordinate sexual demands. Over the next three scenes, leading back to Adrian as a teenager, we discover the devastating falsity of that accusation.
One of Ayckbourn’s many gifts is to make brilliant use of off-stage action and characters: we don’t need to see the drunken debauchery at Meg’s 60th party, or meet her black-sheep brother, to get a vivid picture of both. Ayckbourn also plays cleverly on audience foreknowledge. By the time we get to Adrian’s 30th birthday party we know the destination, even if the route takes us by surprise.
As always, Ayckbourn writes generously for actors. The most versatile is Naomi Petersen, who plays four different women in Adrian’s sheltered life, ranging from a bold sex worker to a shy church-mouse, with detailed skill rather than revue-sketch shorthand.
Russell Dixon, an Ayckbourn veteran, is on rich form as the morose Micky – especially when, as an octogenarian, he reacts indignantly to Meg’s polite inquiry of “Still dry?” Jamie Baughan brings out the pathos of the underachieving Adrian and Jemma Churchill suggests his mum is the only woman who ever understands him. Alternately wry and raucous, the play shows the 80-year-old Ayckbourn still knows how to make the best use of time.
(Michael Billington, The Guardian, 11 September 2019)

Alan Ayckbourn’s Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present - richly humane and laugh-out-loud funny (The Times)
It’s quite possible that Alan Ayckbourn will never again write a fully achieved tragicomic classic of the sort that used to migrate annually from his base in Scarborough to the West End and beyond. Yet if, at the age 80, he can still turn out flawed but fabulously entertaining gems such as this, let’s be thrilled that the great man is still in business.
It’s play No 83 — more than twice as many as that laggard Shakespeare managed — and it’s one of Ayckbourn’s sparkiest efforts for years.
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is a sort of British sex farce: there’s no sex in it and it moves in reverse.
Yes, the idea of a play going backwards in time isn’t box-fresh; these four scenes trace back over four decades of malfunctioning family birthday parties in a way that offers a faint echo of Pinter’s Betrayal. However, Ayckbourn’s clear-sighted yet tolerant way with characters who yo-yo between the reticent and the overbearing is all his own.
Micky and Meg are celebrating Micky’s 80th birthday at their home. Their fifty-something son, Adrian, arrives with his meek new girlfriend. Micky promptly warns her that Adrian’s sexual demands may prove too much for her. Too much for any woman, to judge from his sexual history.
The unquenchable Casanova in question is a heavyset bookkeeper in glasses and sensible clothes. And as Ayckbourn drops seemingly casual mentions of past parties into the first scene that he goes on to dramatise in the next three, we find out what Adrian’s sex life has really been.
Ayckbourn keeps the laugh-out-loud observations coming at about the same rate as the rueful ones. He remains a master at having sympathetic fun with non-achievement, at finding the flipside of our archetypes: here, the great lover who is nothing of the sort.
Kevin Jenkins’s adaptable set earns applause during scene changes as, say, a swish chaise-longue turns into a teenage boy’s bed topped with a
Star Wars duvet cover. And Ayckbourn’s production features four fabulous performances. Jamie Baughan holds the show together as the voluble but vulnerable Adrian. Russell Dixon and Jemma Churchill start centre stage as the parents before becoming lively supporting players. And Naomi Petersen is outstanding as Adrian’s four love interests through the decades. Her tittering work as the self-knowingly nervous new girlfriend in particular is a kind of masterpiece.
I mentioned flaws and, yes, as with many recent Ayckbourns it feels one last draft away from perfection. Most scenes could do with a prune, and we learn more about how Adrian’s sex life has evolved, or failed to, than why.
Still, it’s all too richly funny and humane for that to bother us for too long. Plays 84, 85 and 86 are already in the bag too, we’re told. Ayckbourn remains a phenomenon.
(Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 11 September 2019)

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present - ‘Alan Ayckbourn’s time-hopping comedy’ (The Stage)
Premiering in the year of Alan Ayckbourn’s 80th birthday, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is his 83rd play.
It opens on the day of Micky’s 80th birthday party, before sweeping backwards through time for the birthdays of his wife Meg, his son Adrian, and, finally, his never seen daughter Sonia.
Ayckbourn continues to experiment with narrative structure - time and its passing play a central role in the play. There’s a pleasing familiarity to the characters: Micky, a hilarious Russell Dixon, is a typical Yorkshire bus driver, while his practical, no-nonsense wife Meg is energetically played by Jemma Churchill. Accountant Adrian is played with endearing affability by Jamie Baughan, who somehow managing to keep Adrian’s sexually explosive reputation simmering throughout. Naomi Petersen multi-roles as all the other characters, making each one unique and recognisable - an exhausting task which she manages with aplomb.
Ayckbourn’s dialogue is crisp and entertaining and his direction of his own play assured as ever, marshalling the fast-paced plot without ever becoming overbearing.
Kevin Jenkins’ set is ingeniously creative. Ayckbourn handles the long set changes with precision. The choreography of sideboards being transformed into ottomans and beds into sofas is made an integral part of the show.
In his 83rd play, in his 80th year, Ayckbourn shows no signs of either slowing down or of losing his touch.
(Wendy Pratt, The Stage - online, 11 September 2019)

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present: a bland but entertaining mix of home truths and gags (Daily Telegraph)
The late Ken Dodd kept going and going. The same applies to that theatrical Stakhanovite Sir Alan Ayckbourn. This is a man too busy to let retirement come calling, who survived a stroke in 2006 and carried on working. Having turned 80 in April he’s now premiering the aptly titled and themed Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present – his 83rd play at the theatre he has made his base since the 1950s, running it between 1972 and 2009: the Stephen Joseph in Scarborough.
Never mind that big new BBC One sitcom, Ayckbourn put the pretty Yorkshire coastal resort on the map yonks ago. As well as outstripping every other major playwright of the post-war age in terms of output, no playwright of recent times has enjoyed such a productive relationship with one provincial town.
Not, it should be said, that Ayckbourn is explicitly interested in detailing the lives of those he dwells among, capturing the qualities of this curiously out on a limb locale. But implicitly, in his need to catch the fickle interest of passing holidaymakers and ensure he woos a regular, loyal audience, there has been an artistic symbiosis between himself and the world he has rooted himself in.
His concern is with the travails of ordinary life, the minutiae of domestic relationships, the melancholy lurking in the everyday, that sadness tempered by mirth. The kit and kaboodle of experience often comes wrapped in a neat theatrical conceit that asks, in a Hollywoody way, big ‘ifs’ about life choices.
At its best the formula – if one can dare call it that – achieves a Chekhovian richness, work that will stand good in the canon. On a more middling night, though, the balancing act (of being pleasing as well as home truth-telling) can achieve a cancelling-out effect of blandness, losing its commercial lustre too.
That, I’m afraid to report, is the net-effect of this latest opus, which passes the time amiably and amusingly enough, and passes it backwards – rolling from an 80th birthday bash across 30 years, spanning two generations and four functions. Ayckbourn once starred as the fugitive Stanley in Pinter’s early masterpiece
The Birthday Party, and in its anti-clockwise scheme, this bears comparison with Pinter’s Betrayal. But the potential for darkness is mislaid amid a suburban comedy of male diffidence and chronic misunderstanding.
For reasons that become apparent as the evening wears on, ex coach-driver Micky (Russell Dixon) - whose birthday bash starts the action - has become fixated with the idea that his dull, book-keeper son Adrian (Jamie Baughan) is a raging lothario behind his mild-mannered exterior, a sexual Super-man. In a fun, toe-curling scene, Micky and wife Meg (a nicely over-concerned Jemma Churchill) try to warn their middle-aged boy’s new mousy girlfriend. But the nervously giggling visitor, a chaste church-goer, thrills to the prospect. All credit to Ayckbourn: content-wise, he’s not doing prim, pipe and slippers fare.
Grace and three related parts (called Faith, Hope and Charity) prove a gift for actress (and name to watch) Naomi Petersen, who metamorphoses into an unfulfilled wife, a spirited cockney call-girl dragooned into playing strip animal-snap, and the teenage friend of Adrian’s sister who played a pivotal role at the start of his life giving him his unlikely reputation for prowess.
Ayckbourn has called this a present to himself – and there’s a slightly hollow rattle to it. Still he’s allowed this indulgence, which affirms (he directs too) that he has not lost his facilities. We should pause for applause. Apparently, he has already scripted three further plays. So, although this divertissement winds up at the ‘beginning’, there’s no end yet in sight for the birthday Bard of Scarborough.
(Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph, 10 September 2019)

Alan Ayckbourn plays numbers game with 83rd play Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present (The Press)
Alan Ayckbourn had spent Thursday afternoon launching his first novel, The Divide, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
A debut novel to go with his 83rd play in his 80th birthday year as he notches up the big numbers in 2019 almost on a par with Aussie batsman Steve Smith.
Originally Sir Alan had pencilled in another play to mark the dawn of his octogenarian years, but “it wasn’t right”, he decided, and the looming anniversary suddenly found the Scarborough knight writing a work inspired by birthdays. Writing quickly, in his old custom, in six-hour dictation sessions that left his voice hoarse. In only two weeks it was ready.
And what an 80th birthday gift it is to Stephen Joseph Theatre audiences as summer turns to autumn. Ayckbourn is writing with twinkling mischief as much as the wisdom of age, to complement the dark wit and painfully truthful, awkward comedy.
What’s more, he is writing about that most uncomfortable of subjects to the English: sex. Getting it, not getting it, wanting it, not wanting it, and how it can play havoc with relationships.
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present opens with the present-day, “round about now” birthday: retired bus driver Micky’s 80th birthday tea party: sitting grouchily, legs bandaged, head full of nonsense (or is it nonsense?!) about his son Adrian’s Lothario ways. SJT regular Russell Dixon is playing Micky, so you know you are in for a misanthropic treat.
Adrian (Jamie Baughan) will be bringing his latest girlfriend, Grace (Naomi Petersen, like Baughan, returning from last summer’s
Joking Apart company). Adrian has just been divorced by his miserable wife, Faith. Lothario Adrian has reached the letter G in his conquests, notes his testy father.
Despite the protestations of long-suffering wife Meg (Jemma Churchill), Micky will insist on telling Grace, 45-year-old, church-going, never-had-it Grace, of Adrian’s “insatiable demands”.
We learn from Micky of his son’s Lothario landmarks, setting in motion a play that will subsequently travel back in time to those dates: 15 years ago at Meg’s 60th; 25 years ago on Adrian’s 30th; 38 years ago on his sister’s 20th.
Sarah Waters’
The Night Watch also travelled in reverse at York Theatre Royal only recently but was more of a puzzle, even a detective story, to unravel.
Ayckbourn’s play reveals layers of truth, to ever-increasing comic effect, that expose Micky’s misconceptions and proclivities, while showing Adrian, 30 years a bookkeeper, to be a gentle soul, an open book misread in each chapter. Someone who life happens to.
Baughan is a delightful fulcrum, travelling back to centre-parting and
Star Wars duvet days of callow youth, from optimistic new beginnings post-divorce, loss of Faith as a rebound-job second husband and an awakening from innocence at his 30th.
Note the names of the women that pass through his life: Grace, Faith. Charity, a lippy call girl, and Hope, his sister’s friend with a schoolgirl crush. Bible-rooted names all: another witty touch from a bang-on-form Ayckbourn.
He directs brilliantly, whether orchestrating Micky and Meg’s fireworks or bringing out every nuance in Petersen’s four contrasting encounters with Baughan’s Adrian. What a performance she gives, or four performances, rather.
Cor-blimey call girl Charity’s vodka-sozzled game of Farm Snap with hapless Adrian, animal impersonations and all, is up there with Ayckbourn’s best scenes of all time. The English and sex, such a funny combination.
(Charles Hutchinson, The Press, 15 September 2019)

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present (Yorkshire Post)
A backwards farce is what Alan Ayckbourn wanted to write. A very funny treatise on fake news writ small and personal, along with a thoughtful notion of how men can emerge as winners from the #MeToo movement is what he has ended up with.
A play that moves backwards over the course of four birthdays; an 80th, a 60th, a 30th and an 18th of different members of the same family, this latest Ayckbourn isn’t actually about birthdays but about perception. While he plays with our perception of time, the characters deal with shifting perceptions of each other.
Written in the playwright’s 80th birthday year, it contains little in the way of insight into the man himself and far more into the character of Adrian played as a huggable teddy bear of a man by an often bemused Jamie Baughan. Teddy bear though he may appear, his father Micky, played by Russell Dixon, believes him to be a tiger in the bedroom. A Jekyll and Hyde, Superman character who removes his clothing and casts off the Clark Kent cape to become a sexual superhero.
We see the truth – and the reason for the misconception of his sexual prowess by his father – over the course of the four birthdays. Naomi Petersen is given a quartet of roles as a church mouse girlfriend, Adrian’s former wife, a prostitute and a nervous lovelorn teenager. She does brilliantly with each one, inhabiting the nervous Grace particularly hilariously and in each incarnation teaching us something new about Adrian and the reason for his father’s mistaken beliefs about his ‘appetites’.
There is plenty of joy to be had by the audience as the penny drops and we discover the truth of the characters during one scene, having heard the lie about them in the previous scene.
As the play ends and the misunderstandings about Adrian begin, Ayckbourn spells out a way men might be actual superheroes in an age of Harvey Weinsteins and Donald Trumps and gives us a surprisingly contemporary piece of work with much to say about the world today.
(Nick Ahad, Yorkshire Post, 13 September 2019)

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present (On Yorkshire)
It’s Micky’s 80th birthday. His wife Meg, now his carer too, has prepared the usual birthday tea – sandwiches, biscuits and a cake – and they’re waiting to share it with their son, Adrian. Their own 55 year-old marriage is stable, predictable; Adrian is a divorcee who will be bringing the latest of many girlfriends and fiancees, Grace.
The problem as they see it, is that Adrian’s makes unreasonable demands on his partners. Micky’s all in favour of warning the meek and mild-mannered Grace that Adrian is, in fact, a secret Lothario. So begins Scene One of Ayckbourn’s own 80th birthday play which, he says, is ‘really a story about a man [Adrian] who’s trying to deal with and understand women’.
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is in Ayckbourn’s customary territory of family relationships and human dilemmas. It’s certainly not his first birthday-themed play and has a relatively simple story. Yet, this remarkable playmaker still engages and delights his audience in this, the world premiere of the 83rd he’s written. It’s the way he tells ‘em and his characters that count.
Church-going Adrian resembles a man-sized little boy more than a philanderer when we first meet him. How can his father claim he’s like Superman, a Jekyll and Hyde character, as his father claims? We want to know.
Ayckbourn gradually reveals all with one of his most favoured theatrical devices, the manipulation of time. In each of four scenes, he moves time backwards from the present-day, alighting on three past family birthdays to reveal the causes of Adrian’s dubious reputation; the story ‘ravels’ rather than ‘unravels’ (Ayckbourn, programme notes). In each scene, we’re introduced to one of Adrian’s ‘sexual conquests’ – all played by the same actor.
In Scene Two, on Meg’s 60th birthday 15 years ago, Adrian is uncomfortably married to Faith who has confided her disappointment to Meg. By the interval, the audience are no wiser about the origin of Adrian’s reputation – but we’re avidly speculating.
Scene Three, the most hilarious and dramatically engaging, brings Adrian inadvertently together, on his 30th birthday 25 years ago, with a call girl named Charity. Micky and Meg’s interpretation of the situation shows us exactly why they regard him as sexually rampant. Finally, in a rather tender and gentle scene, set 38 years ago when Adrian is 17, we discover the reality of the first sexual encounter he has spoken earlier about – with his sister’s friend, Hope. And now, the poignant story is clear.
Ayckbourn’s direction is as meticulous as ever, and he’s very well-supported by the technical team. So well choreographed was the first scene change, accomplished to the strains of folksy dance music (designed by Ayckbourn), that it won a round of applause.
The four actors, all known to Stephen Joseph audiences, have an almost telepathic rapport with one-another and us. It’s like being entertained by some highly talented family members. And, because this is theatre-in-the-round, we’re in the space with them. Their timing, so important to the comedy and tragedy of Ayckbourn’s plays, is impeccable overall – though it’s a shame they talked through some of the laughs.
The major challenge for three of the actors, of course, is that their characters ‘grow’ 38 years younger by stages during the play. They all meet it well. Russell Dixon isn’t entirely convincing physically as a 42 year-old Micky, but we certainly recognise this man: kept firmly on track by his wife, he perhaps projects his own desires onto Adrian and relishes his belief that Adrian’s a secret stud. And, as the 80 year-old, Dixon raises sympathetic laughs – from an audience mainly of wrinklies – about the frailties of old age; not an easy task.
Jemma Churchill embodies the kind of no-nonsense, practical mother and wife who has both sense and sensibility but she has her moments too. If Jamie Baughan can’t quite achieve the teenage presence of Adrian at 17, he makes up for it with a highly sympathetic portrayal of a gentle, decent man more comfortable with his mum than his female peers and, ultimately, rather lost and lonely. His wide-eyed venture into drunkenness, in Scene Three, is a gem.
Naomi Petersen rises wonderfully to the challenge of playing four diverse characters. She’s able to transform physically and vocally to convince us of Grace’s godliness and repressed sexuality; Faith’s sensitivity and depression; Charity’s hard-bitten cynicism – and Hope’s excruciatingly awkward adolescence. These characters dictate the mood and pace of the play; Petersen’s outstanding portrayal means she has the audience and our emotions in the palm of her hand.
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is not Ayckbourn’s most ambitious, complex or even funniest play but it is highly affecting. It’s a well-made play in the best sense of the phrase, an intricately woven piece in which each element depends on the others to present the messiness of human beings and relationships.
As a woman, I think it avoids the darkness and discomfiture of many later Ayckbourn plays and evokes more sympathy than some – but I don’t feel the same pressure to prove my sexual drive and virility as many men. Perhaps the guy behind me in the audience hinted at some masculine discomfort when he said: ‘That’s why Ayckbourn’s so funny – ‘cos he’s so bloody true.’
It received some of the most enthusiastic applause I’ve heard in the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Why? Ayckbourn’s audiences, male and female, know that he’s talking to us about ourselves.
(Eve Luddington, On Yorkshire, 11 September 2019)

Ayckbourn’s Birthdays (Yorkshire Times)
Alan Ayckbourn’s latest play, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present, receives its world premiere at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre. His 83rd play, in the year that marks his 80th birthday, it is unusually intriguing, even for a master of formal surprises, in that it opens in the present and goes back in time, in stages, to the early 1980s.
A strange premise, a sort of theatrical equivalent of the nouveau roman of the 1960s, this bassackwards motion is more illuminating than confusing and has a certain logicality. When we meet someone we may wonder how he or she has arrived at this point and, in general, we have more evidence to go on than doing the reverse calculation - wondering how a young person will turn out. ‘Usually in plays,’ says Sir Alan in his sleeve notes, ‘we see the cause first and the effects follow on, but in this case, we see the effect first and our first question is, just how did we get there?
Directed by the endlessly inventive author, no stranger, of course, to experimenting with time in his plays, it begins with the eightieth birthday party of the housebound Micky, a cantankerous old so-and-so, beautifully brought to life by that wonderful old stager Russell Dixon. Jemma Churchill is a picture of comic consternation as his wife Meg, who not without good cause is on tenterhooks about what he might say when their son, Adrian, arrives with his latest fiancée, Grace.
We wonder when the young man arrives, apparently diffident, earnest anxious to please and, actually, approaching middle age, if his father’s assessment of his being sexually rapacious can be right. Is the old man going senile or are our eyes deceiving us? This is the play’s puzzlement that will amuse, divert and at times sadden.
Jamie Baughan is outstanding as the unlikely Lothario, who has apparently gone through an alphabet of amours, without alas finding love. The incredibly versatile Naomi Petersen doubles and trebles as the ladies with whom he has had certain uncertain relationships. She brings life and individuality to all of them and reveals a rare comic timing.
It will take three more birthdays, his mother’s, his sister’s and his own, going back almost forty years, before we have somehow got to the heart of the matter – more a matter of the heart, as it seems, than of the prodigiously physical. To say more would be to give the game away.
This is a wonderfully funny play – in both senses of the word. There are some absolutely priceless set pieces, not least the young Adrian’s partial initiation into adult games when playing animal snap with a call girl.
Like pretty much all of the Master’s, it makes us laugh out loud and yet at times almost want to cry out in anguish at the disorder and disarray of our emotions based on the cards we are being dealt randomly in some greater game of Snap. We are what we are and will be what time make us or, but, in this case, we will see the erasure of time’s slow stain, making plain perhaps (mixing metaphors) how all our early dreams started to unravel.
(Andrew Liddle, Yorkshire Times, 11 September 2019)

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present premieres at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre - and is the perfect gift from Ayckbourn in his 80th year (The Scarborough News)
It is customary to receive presents on the occasion of a birthday – in a reversal of the tradition Alan Ayckbourn, who was 80 earlier this year – has sent his fans a gift. It comes in the form of his 83rd play Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present – a farce about sex or the lack of it.
The story, too, is told in reverse. It starts with Mickey’s 80th birthday and ends with his daughter’s 18th – with, in between, his wife Meg’s 60th celebrations, his son Adrian’s 30th and daughter Sonia’s 18th. The audience gets to understand how the people they meet in the beginning have been shaped, shamed, formed and fated.
It is Adrian’s story and, as in
A Brief History of Women, how he is affected and affects the women in his life – mum, sister, wife and lovers. Adrian is a stone in the sand, brushed and bruised by the tides that are the women he encounters. He is an unremarkable man, a man who encounters remarkable women. Without understanding why, some of the women he delights and others he disappoints. His parents think he is a lothario of suburbia – the audience and his girlfriends either know or discover nothing could be further from the truth.
The cast of four act in perfect harmony – their characterisations and timing spot on. Russell Dixon is dad Mickey – a down-to-earth coach driver who is proud of his son’s prowess and reputation as the Superman of sex. His portrayal of the 80-year-old Mickey – cantankerous in spirit but frail in body – is moving and funny. Jemma Churchill plays Adrian’s mum Meg. She, too, is given her moment to steal the scene and takes it with both hands. Naomi Petersen plays all the women in Adrian’s life – from a repressed 45-year-old church-goer to a free-spirited prostitute – and is a delight in all her guises. Baughan creates the kind of man every woman wants to meet and keep. He is tender, loving, confused, naive, gentle, good-hearted, thoughtful and, without realising it, sexy.
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is packed full of memorable characters, one-liners, fun and poignancy. It is brilliantly-observed, perfectly paced, full of pathos and packed with laughs.
To highlight and reveal the gags – some visual, others verbal – would be to strip aways the surprises which make any birthday perfect. Safe to say the play is laugh-out-loud funny and poignant in equal measure. The audience go from hysterical laughter to heart-break in the blink of a tear-filled eye. The farce is perfectly balanced with Ayckbourn as director and author in control – taking things to the edge of the abyss and pulling them back before the action plunges into chaos.
This is a farce in the vein of No Sex Please We’re British but with A-levels – people come into rooms at inconvenient moments, clothes are shed and misconceptions abound. It is saucy yet sophisticated – a seaside postcard with the dialogue bubbles written by Ayckbourn. It is, though, never smutty or crude.
A ticket to
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present would make a perfect gift for any occasion – treat someone today.
(Sue Wilkinson, The Scarborough News, 11 September 2019)

All reviews are copyright of the respective publication.