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The Just So Stories

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, announces a Summer Festival of entertainment for 2016, including three world premieres of plays by Alan Ayckbourn and Torben Betts; the world premiere of a classic family favourite adapted by Vicky Ireland; a major revival of an Ayckbourn classic comedy; and a 25th anniversary production of a musical revue featuring the songs of one of the world’s best-loved songwriting duos.

The season opens with the world premiere of The National Joke in The Round (various dates from Wednesday 8 June to Saturday 20 August). By the author of West End hit Invincible and the recent dark and stylish adaptation of Get Carter, Torben Betts, and directed by Henry Bell, this searingly funny contemporary look at one family in Britain today sees an MP and three generations of women gather to watch a total solar eclipse.

Just So Stories (McCarthy auditorium, various dates from Saturday 2 July to Saturday 27 August) is the world premiere adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic by one of this country’s leading exponents of family theatre, Vicky Ireland. This brand new version of the much-loved tales, told by a cast of three with the help of puppets, is around an hour long, and suitable for those aged six and upwards.

The Karaoke Theatre Company (world premiere) plays in The Round on various dates from Friday 8 July to Friday 7 October. Presented by Pendon Productions in association with Alan Ayckbourn, it promises to be a slick, fast-moving concoction of farce, comedy, drama and melodrama, all topped off with a dash of good old-fashioned stage magic, featuring an inventive and versatile company. Or maybe not…

Between Thursday 28 July and Saturday 3 September, the SJT presents The World Goes ‘Round: The Songs of Kander & Ebb. Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, and directed by Lotte Wakeham, this show features much-loved show-stoppers like New York, New York, All That Jazz, and Money, Money, alongside lesser known songs including Mr Cellophane, Coffee in a Cardboard Cup and Arthur in the Afternoon – the very best of Kander and Ebb, all in one go.

September sees the return of an Ayckbourn classic to The Round. Henceforward… (various dates from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 8 October) looks at a dystopian future through the story of Jerome, a composer trying to complete his masterwork whilst simultaneously retrieving his daughter from his hostile ex-wife. Henceforward… was premiered at Scarborough in 1987; the subsequent 1988 production at London’s Vaudeville Theatre, starring Ian McKellen and Jane Asher, won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award.

The season is rounded off by another Ayckbourn world premiere. Consuming Passions is a comedy in two parts – Premonitions and Repercussions – which can be seen as separate, approximately 50-minute shows in the SJT’s Bistro at lunchtimes from Friday 5 August to Thursday 8 September, or as an evening double bill in the McCarthy from Friday 16 September to Saturday 8 October.

There will also be a range of Festival Specials at the SJT this summer, including teatime talks with special guests, play readings, children’s summer specials, exhibitions, films and live streamings. For further details, view the season online at www.sjt.uk.com.

To book tickets and for further information on the Summer Festival at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, visit www.sjt.uk.com or call Box Office on 01723 370541. Booking opens on Friday 18 March.