Haunting Julia – A Ghost Story For Christmas

A new audio play of Alan Ayckbourn’s classic Haunting Julia will chill audiences this Christmas.

Directed and starring the playwright himself, Alan Ayckbourn will play all three roles in this online audio version of the ghost story which premiered in 1994.

Haunting Julia will be available exclusively from the Stephen Joseph Theatre website between 1 December and 5 January. It follows a hugely successful audio recording released by the theatre in May of the writer and his wife, actor Heather Stoney, performing a new play of his, Anno Dominowhich was listened to worldwide and critically acclaimed.

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Sir Alan Ayckbourn (©Tony Bartholomew / www.bartpics.co.uk)

Haunting Julia takes place 12 years after the death of musical prodigy Julia Lukin. Her father Joe, still struggling with her death, meets with a psychic and her boyfriend to seek out the truth. But perhaps some questions are best left unanswered…

Alan Ayckbourn says: “Over the years I have always enjoyed creating offstage characters almost as much as onstage ones. They serve to provide, at their simplest, a depth and perspective to an overall stage picture. 

“I consider Julia Lukin to be among the most complex and intriguing of my characters never physically to appear. Although a male three-hander, the play definitely belongs to her.”

Haunting Julia was the first time Alan Ayckbourn wrote a play with supernatural themes and was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in its former home at Westwood in 1994. It has since gone on to have many successful productions, including two revivals at the SJT and a London production at Riverside Studios in 2011.

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Haunting Julia (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)

The new audio version is directed by Alan, and was recorded at his home studio. It sees the writer take the parts of Julia’s father, Joe, her former boyfriend, Andy, and psychic Ken. Other voices are provided by Naomi Petersen. The final mix is by Paul Stear.

To accompany the play, Alan Ayckbourn’s Archivist and Official Website has produced a free programme which can be downloaded or read here.

Haunting Julia can be heard via the SJT website from 1 December to 5 January. Tickets, priced at £12, can be booked any time up to and including 5 January, either from the box office (until 2 December, by phone only from 10am till noon, Monday to Friday – opening times for December will be announced in late November) or via the website: https://www.sjt.uk.com/event/1078/haunting_julia

Once a £12 ticket has been bought, the buyer can access the show as often as they like between 1 December and 5 January, and as many people as are in their household or social bubble can listen in. People who buy tickets during November will be sent a password to access the recording on 1 December; those buying a ticket in December or January will be sent the password immediately.

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