Stephen Joseph Theatre summer season unveiled

Little Voice will open the season
Little Voice will open the season

A summer season of plays celebrating the often extraordinary stories of people leading ordinary lives has been announced at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

The season will include a revival of Jim Cartwright’s much-loved The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, an Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated film of which was made in Scarborough; the world premiere of a new play by Alan Ayckbourn, A Brief History of Women; the world premiere of up-and-coming writer Ali Taylor’s Goth Weekend; the regional premiere of Amelia Bullmore’s touching comedy Di and Viv and Rose; and a revival of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s funniest shows, Taking Steps.

Taking Steps will be revived

Taking Steps will be revived

The thesatre’s artistic director Paul Robinson said “At the heart of our 2017 summer season is the endeavour to celebrate the stories of ‘ordinary’ people. All of this work – and our new artistic policy – reflects our belief here at the theatre that every person, regardless of their background, can fulfil their potential if only given the opportunity, and that within all of us, however normal or ordinary we might feel, we are exceptional and we have extraordinary stories to tell.”

The five plays will be part of a packed spring and summer season which will also include shows from visiting companies, film, live streamings, music, play readings and other events.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Thursday 15 June to Saturday 19 August

A Brief History of Women is a new play by Alan Ayckbourn

A Brief History of Women is a new play by Alan Ayckbourn

Written by Jim Cartwright

Directed by Paul Robinson

Designed by Tim Meacock

Lighting design by Jason Taylor

Di and Viv and Rose will get is regional premiere

Di and Viv and Rose will get is regional premiere

Composition and sound design by Simon Slater

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is probably best known for its stunning film adaptation starring Jane Horrocks and set right here in Scarborough.

It tells the story of a painfully shy young woman, LV, who spends her days trying to avoid her domineering mother, Mari. She occupies herself listening to her late father’s records – Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland – all the time hiding an incredible gift for pitch-perfect impressions of them. When Mari’s latest boyfriend, talent scout Ray Say, overhears LV’s astonishing singing he wants to make her famous – and himself rich.

Taking Steps

Thursday 13 July to Thursday 5 October

Written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn

Designed by Kevin Jenkins

Lighting design by Jason Taylor

When tongue-tied solicitor Tristram is sent along to oversee the sale of a large and crumbling house, reputedly a haunted former brothel, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Hardware tycoon Roland Crabbe and scheming builder Leslie Bainbridge are not easy clients and Roland’s wife, Elizabeth, is on the brink of leaving with the help of her brother Mark and his shrinking-violet fiancée, Kitty. Misunderstandings multiply and play out in every corner of the three-storey house.

On the original opening night of Alan Ayckbourn’s brilliantly clever and outrageously funny farce the laughter was so loud it broke the theatre’s tannoy system.

Regional Premiere

Di and Viv and Rose

Thursday 3 August to Saturday 26 August

Written by Amelia Bullmore

Directed Lotte Wakeham

Designed by Grace Smart

Lighting design by Jason Taylor

Sound design by Paul Stear

Three women are thrown together in their late teens. They are very different people but it isn’t long before they are living in each other’s pockets. Life is a blast and together they can do anything. But life also has unexpected plans for them… A funny, moving and surprising story of three friends whose relationship spans 30 dramatic years.

Di and Viv and Rose was written by Amelia Bullmore, actress-writer best known for her portrayal of Steph Barnes in Coronation Street and more recently appearances in Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey. The play transferred to the West End after a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre.

World Premiere

A Brief History of Women

Friday 1 September to Saturday 7 October

Written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn

Designed by Kevin Jenkins

Lighting design by Jason Taylor

A comedy in four parts about an unremarkable man and the remarkable women who loved him, left him, or lost him over sixty years; and of the equally remarkable old manor house that saw and heard it all happen.

From his first unsettling encounter as a very young man in 1925 to an unexpected reunion late in life Anthony Spates’ romantic progress is charted in this hilarious and gently touching comedy. The fireworks, the love and loss come at the funniest moments in this brand new classic Ayckbourn comedy.

World Premiere

Goth Weekend

Thursday 14 September to Saturday 7 October

Written by Ali Taylor

Directed by Paul Robinson

Designed by Helen Coyston

Lighting design by Tigger Johnson

Sound design by Paul Stear

Goth Weekend tells the story of a girl growing up in a town where being different is difficult, where conforming is the norm. Mum’s no longer around and dad has started dating a bit too soon. Worst of all he’s dating Belinda, a Goth who looks like a vampire and has her purple hearse parked on the drive. No, worst of all he’s started dressing like one…

Set during the lead-up to Whitby Goth Weekend, this funny and provocative play is about who we are and what we pretend to be – and why, twice a year in North Yorkshire, people dress up like Dracula!

All of the summer shows are in rep between June and October – for more details on times and prices, please call the box office on 01723 370541