Ilkley Playhouse

PART of the enjoyment in watching a play unfold is peeling back the layers of the story, not knowing what is going to happen next, or how. The sense of anticipation and curiosity is a delight for the audience and a valuable tool for the director to wield!

Which can make great plays quite tricky to write about! Fortunately, we won’t have to say too much to whet your interest in our new season opener, Intimate Exchanges Volume 1: A Garden Fete, for three reasons.

First, it’s by the much-loved Olivier-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn, author of more than 80 plays over an astonishing 60-year career. Ayckbourn, a resident of Scarborough, has had plays performed in the West End, New York, and around the world. He also enjoyed a near-40-year parallel career as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where most of his new work continues to be launched.

Secondly, it’s directed by the Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Jay Cundell Walker, who deftly and expertly handles the comedy and drama. And finally, the names of the cast – just the two of them! –will be familiar to local theatre goers: Andy Price and Anna Riley, who last worked together at the Playhouse in the fantastic Educating Rita.

So without revealing too much abut the story – it’s a perfectly paced domestic comedy ringing with black humour – and the twists (there are always a few surprises with Ayckbourn), rest assured that you are in safe hands for a great evening of comedy entertainment. It runs from Thursday, September 12th to Saturday, September 21st. Ayckbourn is always popular so book soon to avoid disappointment.

In other news, Dolly Parton – not personally, but the next best thing – is coming to the Playhouse’s Wildman Studio on Friday, September 27th. Miss Julie Martin, award-winning Dolly Parton impersonator, will treat you to the highlights of Dolly’s career, perhaps including I Will Always Love You, Jolene, Nine To Five, Islands In The Stream, and many others. The Wildman studio at Ilkley Playhouse will be the perfect venue for Dolly’s intimate songs. Tickets are just £14.

Finally, the Playhouse’s own Livy Potter has raised over £2,200 for the Malala Foundation, which works to break down the barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Thanks to further audience donations at the Playhouse’s production of Blue Stockings at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall over the summer Livy was able to add to the generous donations collected at the Playhouse in June.

For more on our events, productions and courses, go to our website at, or call 01943 609539.

Claire Emmott