Ayckbourn play direct from New York

Direct from its New York run, Alan Ayckbourn’s 75th play Neighbourhood Watch embarks on a national tour, opening at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Wednesday, January 18 to Saturday, January 28.

Following on from the success of last year’s Life Of Riley, the Stephen Joseph Theatre presents Sir Alan’s cautionary tale of the dangers of taking the law into your own hands in Ayckbourn’s.

Things are not right on The Bluebell Hill Development. Theft, petty crime, vandalism, all the ills of modern suburban existence are on the increase.

Newcomers Martin and his sister Hilda are the crime wave’s latest victims – on the very day of their housewarming party, no less – and resolve to take action. After all, the law of the land, all that’s right and proper and even God Himself are surely on their side. But what starts out as a well-intentioned neighbourhood watch scheme soon develops into something altogether more sinister.

The production stars Eileen Battye, Terence Booth, Phil Cheadle, Matthew Cottle, Richard Derrington, Frances Grey, Amy Loughton and Alexandra Mathie.

Playwright and director Sir Alan said: “Neighbourhood Watch is a cautionary play. It addresses modern hang-ups such as law and order, health and safety. It’s in my dark farce mode. I’ve always been interested in how, out of tiny things, wars are often fought. Whenever history is examined, you always say: is that really what started it? Helen of Troy was responsible for an awful lot!”

Ayckbourn’s writing career began in 1959 with The Square Cat. Now over fifty years on, Ayckbourn has won numerous awards and was knighted for services to the theatre in 1997. In 2010 he received the Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to be honoured with both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Tickets on 01483 440000.