A classic Ayckbourn comedy this summer

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Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Round and Round the Garden plays the Devonshire Park Theatre from Thursday July 23 - Saturday August 8 as part of Eastbourne Theatres cracking summer programme.

At times wildly comic, and at times incredibly poignant, Round and Round the Garden brilliantly portrays the complicated relationships amongst six intertwined characters.

Assistant librarian Norman is intent on making all the women in his life happy, simultaneously attempting to seduce his sister-in-law Annie, charm his brother’s wife Sarah and still keep his own wife, Ruth, content.

Oblivious to the repercussions of his actions, Norman leaves a trail of havoc, misunderstandings and comedy consequences.

Whatever happened to a peaceful weekend in the country?

Round and Round the Garden will be latest in a long line of in-house produced shows from the creative team at Eastbourne Theatres.

Directed by Chris Jordan, and still with casting to be announced, this comedy classic will rehearse in Eastbourne ahead of its strictly limited run at the Devonshire Park Theatre.

Ayckbourn’s award-winning play expertly highlights the writer’s sharp, acerbic wit to reveal the secrets, lies and deception which simmer beneath the surface of family relationships.

The last instalment in Ayckbourn’s masterful Norman Conquests trilogy, Round and Round the Garden remains as fresh and funny as when it was first performed in 1973.

As his official website (www.alanayckbourn.net.) notes, this year marks Ayckbourn’s 54th year as a theatre director and his 56th as a playwright.

He has spent his life in theatre, rarely if ever tempted by television or film, which perhaps explains why he continues to be so prolific.

To date he has written 79 plays and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards.

Major successes include: Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests.

In the past four years, there have been revivals of Season’s Greetings and A Small Family Business at the National Theatre and in the West End productions of Absent Friends, A Chorus of Disapproval and Relatively Speaking.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of his first West End production, Mr Whatnot.

In recent years, he has been inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards.

He was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre .

Round and Round the Garden plays the Devonshire Park Theatre from Thursday July 23 – Saturday August 8. Nightly 7.45pm, Wednesdays & Saturday 2.30pm.

Tickets £15.50, £18, £20, Matinees £15.50 all seats. Concessions £1.50 off, groups buy 10 tickets get 11th free, under 16s and students £9, Under 25s £10.

To book, call the Box Office on 01323 412000 or book online at www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk.