Alan Ayckbourn comedy about keeping up with the Joneses at Christmas

Philip Fine and Helen Williams as Sidney and Jane Hopcroft in The Banbury Cross Players production of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular

Philip Fine and Helen Williams as Sidney and Jane Hopcroft in The Banbury Cross Players production of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular

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Non stop classic Alan Ayckbourn comedy is being brought to the stage in a production of his hilarious Christmas themed play, Absurd Person Singular.

Written in 1972 the play is divided into three acts and documents the changing fortunes of three married couples, with each act taking place at a Christmas celebration at one of the couples’ homes on successive Christmas Eves.

So with three couples, three kitchens and three Christmases what could possibly go wrong? Few plays expose the pressures of the festive season to such effect, it’s as if all the worst Christmases have arrived at once.

Banbury Cross Players present the play at The Mill Arts Centre at 7.45pm from Wednesday October 21 through to Saturday 24.

There are six actors on stage for the production, with the neighbours of one of the couples being voiced off stage by the stage manager and assitant stage manager.

Set in three kitchens over three Christmases the play follows the fortunes of the three wildly incompatible couples, charting the relentless rise of the socially aspiring Hopcrofts at the expense of the other two couples.

Sidney Hopcroft is a housing developer who wants to make a good impression on his guests, whilst his wife Jane is more interested in making her kitchen spotless. But the party peters out when she gets herself locked out of the house.

The other two couples are architect Geoffrey Jackson and his pill popping wife Eva; and banker Ronald Brewster-Wright and his alcoholic wife Marion.

The Banbury Cross Players are an amateur company formed in 1945 and still going strong, performing four full length productions each year.

Recent productions have included Dracula, Twelfth Night, The 39 Steps, An Inspector Calls and Memory of Water.

The members have been in rehearsal for the Ayckbourn play since July and invite anyone interested in joining their group to go along to one of their regular Tuesday evening meetings held at 8pm at The Mill Arts Centre.

The group will have a stand at Banbury’s Canal Day on Sunday (October 4) and at the Kings Sutton Scarecrow Festival on Sunday October 11.

Tickets for Absurd Person Singular cost £10 and £11 plus £1 booking fee, and are available from the box office 01295 279002.