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Stellar cast for Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular

Published 17 April 2008

Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy Absurd Person Singular opens at the Garrick theatre later this month, following Bad Girls The Musical, which closes on 17 November. Jane Horrocks, Jenny Seagrove, John Gordon Sinclair, David Bamber, David Horovitch and Lia Williams star in the production which runs from 27 November (press night 6 December) until March 2008. Alan Strachan directs.

Ayckbourn’s play follows the lives of three couples over the course of three years, telling their stories through successive Christmas Eve gatherings.

The production reunites Horrocks and Sinclair, who last shared a London stage in 2004, when they starred in Stephen Poliakoff’s Sweet Panic at the Duke of York’s. The versatile Horrocks has credits ranging from Cabaret (Donmar Warehouse) to Little Voice on both stage and screen, and sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

Sinclair, like Horrocks, is equally comfortable in drama, comedy or musical. Most recently his talent has been seen in The Producers, playing Leo Bloom in 2005, a decade after collecting the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for She Loves Me. On television his credits include An Actor’s Life For Me and Nelson’s Column, and he will forever be known for his film appearance in cult teen hit Gregory’s Girl.

Seagrove’s return to the West End comes just three months after her last outing in this summer’s The Letter at the Wyndham’s. Previously her appearances have included The Night Of The Iguana (2005) and The Constant Wife (2002), while she is familiar to television audiences as Jo Mills in Judge John Deed.

Horovitch also has a wealth of London experience to his name, most recently appearing in Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud), Losing Louis (Hampstead and Trafalgar Studio 1) and Spinning Into Butter (Royal Court Upstairs).

Bamber is a Laurence Olivier Award-winning actor (Best Actor for My Night With Reg), who has worked extensively with the National Theatre and was last seen in The Soldiers’ Fortune at the Young Vic.

Williams has recently finished a run in The Hothouse at the National, where she has also appeared in Mappa Mundi and Skylight. Williams’s other London credits include The Revengers’ Comedies, The Homecoming and My Child.

Ayckbourn, one of Britain’s most prolific playwrights, has written over 70 full length plays, among them The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce, the Damsels In Distress trilogy and A Chorus Of Disapproval, which won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 1985.

Bad Girls The Musical opened at the Garrick in August, following its much-lauded run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The new musical, based on the cult television drama, features veterans of the TV show Nicole Faraday and Helen Fraser alongside a cast including Sally Dexter and David Burt. em>MA

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