THEATRE Surprises Alan Ayckbourn Joseph theatre reviews Scarborough UK REVIEWS


The Round
Stephen Joseph Theatre

No surprise

Ayckbourn has returned to his past with references to his previous thoughts and plays. Here we have what the playwright thinks things will be like in the future if human being continue to think the way they do at present. Whether it will be for mankind's good is up for conjecture and this play is an attempt to show what it could be like. Alan Ayckbourn directs so if he does not know where this play is heading no one does, but all adds up to and entertaining evening even if he does not come up with anything new and it is a little disjointed.

Here we have Grace, played by Ayesha Antoine, doing as all teenager do and have done since time immemorial, questioning the way society is guiding her life. She chooses a boyfriend who her parents wound not approve, but not necessarily in direct defiance, although it looks as though she is rebelling against her father, played by Bill Champion. His wife meanwhile stays away from home by traveling the solar system in search of satisfaction.

All this is played against a background of time travel and androids, one of whom is Goorman, played with insight by Richard Stacey. Sarah Parks gives her usual reliable interpretation of a Corporate lawyer and interacts in a virtual reality role play situation. People pop up and down in Ayckbourn's interpretation of a future interactive communication system and are allowed to unwind with virtual reality interactivity role play. Michael Holt supplied what is wanted bye way of stage design. Support is supplied by cast doubling up and Laura Doddington and Ben Porter.

All in all the audience seemed to enjoy the three acts, with inadequate intervals and got what they have come to expect from this playwright. Whether it raised any questions as to where humanity is heading is another matter, but he did raise some questions that have returned to us all recently whether we were aware of them or not. Makes you wonder about the title as everything dealt with is predicable. As usual saver the evening. © BA

“Surprises” is at the Round, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from the 12th July to the 13th of October, 2012. Box Office Telephone: 01723 370541. Tickets prices from £10 - £24.50.

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