Playwright Alan Ayckbourn adapts one of his classics as audio recording - how you can listen to it

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 3:34 pm

A new audio recording of a classic by one of the country’s leading playwrights Sir Alan Ayckbourn play will chill audiences this Christmas.

The writer will play all three parts in Haunting Julia, an online audio version of his classic 1994 play.

It will be available exclusively from the website of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where Sir Alan premieres his plays.

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The radio version of Haunting Julia 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 Domino, which was listened to worldwide and critically acclaimed.

It is about the crumbling of a long-standing marriage.

Haunting Julia takes place 12 years after the suicide 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 some questions are better left unanswered.

Sir Alan, who lives in the coastal town, said: “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 first seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in its former home at Westwood in 1994.

It has since gone on to have many successful productions, including two revivals at the Stephen Joseph.

The new audio version is directed by Sir 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.

Sir Alan is an Olivier and Tony Award-winning playwright. He has written more than 80 plays, many of which have been produced in London’s West End and New York as well as around the world.

As an acclaimed director, he has worked extensively in the West End and at the National Theatre.

He was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 1972 to 2009, where the majority of his work has and continues to be launched.

Among his greatest hits are the Norman Conquests, Intimate Exchanges, A Small Family Business, Bedroom Farce and Season’s Greetings.

A production of his Way Upstream – set on a boat – flooded the National Theatre when it was staged there.

Haunting Julia can be heard via the Stephen Joseph Theatre website from December 1 to January 5.

Tickets, priced £12, can be booked any time up to and including the last date from the box office, until December 2 by phone from 10am to noon Monday to Friday – opening times for December will be announced later – or via website.

Once a ticket has been bought, the buyer can access the show as often as they like between December 1 and January 5 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 December 1; those buying a ticket in December or January will be sent the password immediately.