Last performances of Alan Ayckbourn's 83rd play at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre

Jemma Churchill and Naomi Petersen in Alan Ayckbourn's 83rd play
Jemma Churchill and Naomi Petersen in Alan Ayckbourn's 83rd play

There is still time to see the five-star Alan Ayckbourn play Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

The story of Adrian’s love life is told over the course of four birthdays – starting with that of his father Micky.

Directed by the author, it is performed by a cast of four: Jamie Baughan, Jemma Churchill, Russell Dixon and Naomi Petersen.

It’s Micky’s 80th birthday, and he and his wife Meg are awaiting the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his new fiancée, Grace.

Adrian has, according to his parents, a certain reputation regarding women, and they feel meek, mild-mannered Grace should surely be warned of this.

But are things really as they appear? As birthday follows birthday, the truth is revealed about Adrian, the suburban Lothario.

Alan, who was 80 this years, said: “It’s no coincidence that this is a special year for me, being my 80th.

“I like to pin things on anniversaries, and I thought ‘why not birthdays?’

“But it’s a bit conventional to have one person maybe having his 20th birthday and his 50th and then 80th birthdays, so I thought it would be fun to do it backwards.

“Usually in plays, 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?

“It’s really a story about a man who’s trying to deal with and understand women.”

Russell Dixon plays Mickey, Jemma Churchill is his wife Meg, Jamie Baughan plays Adrian and Naomi Petersen plays the women in Adrian’s life including an ex-wife, a love-sick teenager and a prostitute.

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is on at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Monday September 30, Tuesday October 1, Wednesday October 3, Thursday October 3 and Friday October 4 at 7.30pm and on Saturday October 5 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets: 01723 370541 or www.sjt.uk.com