Acykbourn classic is take two at Westacre Theatre

Karen Bates (as Sheila); Emily Waits (as Ginny); Ross Chandler (as Greg); Colin McLean (as Philip)
Karen Bates (as Sheila); Emily Waits (as Ginny); Ross Chandler (as Greg); Colin McLean (as Philip)

The play that made Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE into a household name and boosted the career of actor Richard Briers is being performed by Westacre Theatre.

Relatively Speaking, Ayckbourn’s first WestEnd hit in 1967, opens on Saturday, May 27.

Westacre Theatre have included it in their summer season as this year marks the 60th anniversary of Ayckbourn joining the Library Theatre Company in Scarborough.

His 80 plays place him as one of the most performed playwrights in the country – second only to Shakespeare.

Relatively Speaking is still considered by many to be the playwright’s best crafted piece.

His perceptive observation of the well-developed characters is unnervingly real and totally believable.

Alongside the evocatively exposed angst of a shaky middle-class marriage, it also explores a young couple’s first serious commitment of love.

But at least one of the parties in each of those two relationships is unfaithful!

Westacre Theatre’s revival effectively reveals Ayckbourn’s trademark of producing laughter out of marital misery.

His thoughtfully developed dialogue produces an uproariously clever comedy of misunderstandings and mistaken identities.

With ever frequent laughter it may be that only at the very end of the play will you have your first opportunity to sit back and really reflect on the darker issues of this fascinating satire on English life.

Well-known cast member Karen Bates has truly matured – in the nicest possible way, of course!

When Relatively Speaking was staged at Westacre many years ago (and modesty prevents us from divulging exactly how long ago that was), Karen then played Ginny in the young couple.

Now the passing of time means she is the ideal actor to portray the slightly older Sheila.

How many in the audience for one of the five performances starting on Saturday, May 27, will recall the younger Karen?

In addition to May 27, there are performances on Friday, June 2, Saturday, June 3, Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10 – all at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 01760 755800.