Life and Beth

by Alan Ayckbourn

September / October 2012


Alan Ayckbourn has done it again! The most successful playwright of the modern era has produced another thought provoking but amusing play, based on real people in real family situations. Dealing with a widow’s recent bereavement is not easy, yet there can be comedy even in such tragic moments.

It’s Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her husband Gordon, a former Health and Safety officer. Beth’s sister-in-law Connie and son Martin have come to stay, determined to ensure that she should have a stress free Christmas, but between Connie’s drinking problem and Martin’s emotionally volatile girl friend Ella, their intentions prove to be short lived.

Only David, the local vicar, provides Beth with any comfort, but when he says a prayer for her bereavement he unwittingly summons the presence of her former husband, who then returns to her family home. Gordon has been busy masterminding health and safety in the afterlife and now may well be trying the same thing back on earth. It soon becomes apparent however, that his return is not an altogether welcome one...

First presented at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2008, starring Liza Goddard.

"... comic and touching ..." - Michael Billington, Guardian



Below: Life and Beth in rehearsal:
in rehearsal in rehearsal
in rehearsal in rehearsal
in rehearsal

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