LondonNet News Headlines
27/09/02
Damsels in Distress is in Distress
- Ayckbourn trilogy in trouble

SIR ALAN AYCKBOURN's latest trilogy is not attracting the audiences anticipated. RolePlay, the third in the Damsels In Distress threesome, is far more popular than the other two. As a result Flatspin and GamePlan can only be seen Saturday rather than in rep during the week.

The cancellation of some FlatSpin and GamePlan shows is the closest the prolific Ayckbourn has come to failure in recent years. These three plays are Ayckbourn's 58th, 59th and 60th plays respectively and, like their predecessors, premiered at the Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough before transferring to the West End. Ayckbourn's shot at three independent plays written to be performed by the same cast on the same set builds on the ambitious precedent set by his recent hits House and Garden, a duo performed simultaneously by the same cast to two separate audiences.

The Damsels In Distress trilogy also follows in the footsteps of Tom Stoppard's current threesome of plays, The Coast of Utopia. Although Stoppard's threesome take place on a multitude of sets, each features the same cast and two of the three attracted worse reviews than any Stoppard play for some time. It remains to be seen whether Stoppard's Shipwreck and Salvage will suffer the schedule changing fate of Ayckbourn's FlatSpin and RolePlay.




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