Alan Ayckbourn’s latest play, Family Album, opens at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre tonight.
The playwright’s 87th work tenderly chronicles the trials, tribulations and temptations of three generations of one family across 70 years in the same home. It stars Elizabeth Boag, Georgia Burnell, Tanya-Loretta Dee, Antony Eden and Frances Marshall. Alan Ayckbourn directs the play.
In 1952, housewife Peggy (Georgia Burnell) and RAF veteran John (Antony Eden) as they proudly move into the first home they can really call their own; in 1992, daughter Sandra (Frances Marshall), frantically negotiating the challenges of a 10-year-old’s birthday party without her AWOL husband; and – in 2022 – grandaughter Alison (Elizabeth Boag) and her partner Jess (Tanya-Loretta Dee), finally escaping the house she has somewhat unwillingly inherited.
Alan Ayckbourn says: “My inspiration for Family Album was a programme on BBC4 called A House Through Time, a fascinating piece of social history. I thought, I could do this on a smaller scale – I didn’t want to go back centuries, so I started within my lifetime, in the 1950s.
“So we have three time periods layered on top of each other happening simultaneously in the same house, following a family from the grandparents in 1952, to the children in 1992 and then the grandchildren today.
“For me it’s new: I’ve used time so much – I’ve run it backwards and forwards, and I’ve run it sideways, and I’ve occasionally run it forwards and backwards simultaneously and at different speeds, but never in this way.”
Family Album is designed by Kevin Jenkins with lighting design by Jason Taylor. Sound Design is by Alan Ayckbourn with Paul Stear as Associate Sound Designer. Casting is by Sarah Hughes CDG.
Family Album can be seen in the Round at the Stephen Joseph Theatre from Friday 2 September to Saturday 1 October 2022. It will then be performed at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, from Tuesday 11 to Saturday 22 October, and at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness, from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 November.
Tickets for the show at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com. Further details about the play can be found on the playwright’s official website by clicking here.