In May, London Classic Theatre brings Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends to the Wyvern Theatre as part of their 15th Anniversary season.
Artistic Director Michael Cabot directs the talented cast which includes Ashley Cook, John Dorney, Kevin Drury, Catherine Harvey, Kathryn Ritchie and Alice Selwyn.
Set in the summer of 1974 Absent Friends centres around a well-intentioned tea party that descends into chaos. Wealthy, unfulfilled housewife Diana arranges a gathering of old friends to cheer up bereaved Colin, whose fiancée drowned two months earlier. Paul, her bullying, self-absorbed husband, has recently had a dalliance with Evelyn, the glamorous wife of his friend and incompetent business associate, John. The party is completed by long-suffering Marge, who has left Gordon, her hypochondriac spouse, ailing at home.
Preparations for the party spark tensions and open old wounds. As lingering resentments and deep-rooted jealousies surface, an unexpectedly cheerful Colin strolls into the mayhem.
Acerbic and painfully funny, Absent Friends explores friendship, marriage and what it ultimately means to be happy. In one of his finest plays, Ayckbourn’s craftsmanship and acute social observation have never been sharper or more biting.
Alan Ayckbourn is an Olivier and Tony Award winning playwright who has written 78 plays, more than half of which have been produced in London’s West End as well as around the world. Some of his best known work includes Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, Relatively Speaking, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and Communicating Doors.
Absent Friends will be entertaining audiences at the Wyvern Theatre from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 May, with tickets from £18.50. Book via swindontheatres.co.uk or by call the ticket office on 01793 524 481.