RENOWNED playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn will get up close and personal with an audience in Glaisdale later this month.
Sir Alan, who will mark his 52nd year as a theatre director and his 54th as a playwright will join Mark Stratton, director of the village’s Esk Valley Theatre to speak about his life and work.
The evening takes place on Sunday 24 March at the Robinson Institute.
Producer of the Esk Valley Theatre, Sheila Carter said: “Every theatre needs a champion and Esk Valley Theatre has been blessed with Sir Alan Ayckbourn.
“Alan has been a great supporter of EVT, rarely missing a production, and in a recent interview he said the Esk Valley Theatre is very much my sort of theatre created for a community and run with love by people who care and it shows in the results, believe me.
“It’s terrific that Sir Alan has made time in his busy schedule to come and help raise funds for the theatre.
“In fact with a busy year ahead, including directing in America, this was one of the few evenings in the year when he wasn’t otherwise engaged, so we owe him a very big thank you.”
Sir Alan has spent his life in theatre, rarely if ever tempted by television or film, which perhaps explains why he continues to be so prolific.
To date he has written 77 plays and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests.
The National Theatre recently revived his 1980 play Season’s Greetings to great acclaim and the past year alone has seen West End productions of Absent Friends and A Chorus Of Disapproval.
In 2009, he retired as artistic director of Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, where almost all his plays have been and continue to be first staged.
He held the post for 37 years and has said he still feels that perhaps his greatest achievement was the establishment of the theatre as the company’s first permanent home when the two auditoria complex fashioned from a former Odeon Cinema, opened in the town in 1996.
In recent years Sir Alan has been inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards.
He was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre.
There will be a licensed bar, the doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.
The Esk Valley Theatre would like to thank everyone who donated a promise and supported its recent auction to raise funds for the theatre which netted a total of £2,290.
Mark added: “The generosity of businesses and individuals was overwhelming and the night was great fun in the hands of the outstanding Robert Smith.”
Tickets for the evening with Sir Alan Ayckbourn on Sunday 24 March are £12 and are available from (01947) 897587.