Jason Durr Peter Forbes Jill Halfpenny Jason Hughes Sarah Parish
by Alan Ayckbourn
Emily Laing Nicola Sloane
Director Nadia Fall
23 April – 16 May
Festival Theatre, Chichester
Jason Durr, Peter Forbes, Jill Halfpenny and Jason Hughes join the previously announced Sarah Parish in Way Upstream, a characteristically dark and funny Alan Ayckbourn comedy which opens Chichester’s Festival 2015.
Four old friends, one cruising boat, two weeks off work, and the perfect setting of the beautiful River Orb. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty can, and does, in typical Ayckbourn style, as relationships become frayed before the ignition key is even turned. Waters get even choppier when the troubled crew bump into enigmatic seadog Vince and his bohemian friend, Fleur. This exposé of the murky depths that lurk beneath the surfaces of friendship, love, desire and power is vintage Ayckbourn.
Following the successful completion of the Festival Theatre’s major redevelopment last year, its stage will be transformed into a river, complete with a real life-size boat.
Jason Durr plays Vince. His credits include Donkeys’ Years (Rose Theatre, Kingston), the West End production ofVolcano and the role of PC Mike Bradley in the television series Heartbeat.
Peter Forbes plays Keith. His theatre credits include How to Hold Your Breath (Royal Court Theatre) and The James Plays (National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival).
Jill Halfpenny plays Emma. Her credits include her award-winning performance in Legally Blonde, the West End production of Abigail’s Party and screen roles in Babylon and In The Club.
Jason Hughes plays Alistair. His theatre credits include In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play (St James Theatre) and the US tour of 4.48 Psychosis. Television credits include the role of DS Ben Jones in Midsomer Murders.
Sarah Parish plays June. Her numerous television credits include W1A, Atlantis, Mistresses, Cutting It and Blackpool.Her film credits include The Wedding Date and The Holiday.
The cast also includes Emily Laing as Fleur, whose credits include Arcadia (Nottingham Playhouse) and Nicola Sloane as Mrs Hatfield whose credits include London Road (National Theatre, and forthcoming film).
Alan Ayckbourn is an Olivier and Tony award-winning playwright whose distinguished career has spanned over 50 years. His major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests. He was Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 1972 to 2009, where the majority of his work continues to be premiered.
Nadia Fall makes her directorial debut at Chichester having recently directed Dara and Home for the National Theatre, and Hobson’s Choice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
The production is designed by Ben Stones, also making his Chichester debut. His credits include A Breakfast of Eels(Print Room), Smile (Sadler’s Wells) and Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).
Lighting Design is by Chichester Associate Tim Mitchell, whose credits include Festival 2014’s Olivier Award nominatedTaken at Midnight (also West End), Guys and Dolls and Amadeus, as well as The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (also West End), Kiss Me, Kate (also West End) and Singin’ in the Rain (also West End, UK and international tours).
Sound Design is by Fergus O’Hare, whose credits include Festival 2014’s An Ideal Husband, as well as King Lear (and New York), Another Country (and West End/UK tour), as well as West End productions of Daytona (also UK tour),Relative Values and Passion Play.
Way Upstream is sponsored by Genesis and Zero C.
Director Nadia Fall and writer Alan Ayckbourn will be in conversation with author and broadcaster Paul Allen on Monday 27 April at 5.45pm. Tickets free but advance booking essential.
Join the technical crew, cast and creative teams for 90 minutes of insight, demonstration and discussion on the making of a production on Thursday 7 May at 10.30am. Tickets £5.
There will be the chance to meet some of the Way Upstream company at a post-show discussion hosted by author Simon Brett on Monday 11 May.
Way Upstream is at the Festival Theatre, Chichester from 23 April – 16 May. Evenings 7.30pm (except for Press Night, Tuesday 28 April at 7pm), matinees 2.30pm. Tickets from £10. To book, go to cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.
Special Prices for 16 – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of Way Upstream will go on sale on 23 March. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at cft.org.uk/850 or in person.