THEATRE Miss Yesterday Alan Ayckbourn is in Stephen Joseph theatre reviews REVIEWS

Miss Yesterday

The Round
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough
ENGLAND

If things had been different

The school gates are closed, behind them are the answers to the exam questions and possible success. Two teenagers approach the obstacle intending to climb them and get at those secrets. All normal so far, but what if? Can time be manipulated if things do not go as intended? This is Alan Ayckbourn returning to something that haunts him — time. Can you influence what is about to happen or do you just have to take what comes along? This play deals with the chaos theory, and that butterfly that may or may not have flapped its wings in the past, to change the future. Ayckbourn directs and Pip Leckenby supplies the props for this enlightening escapade into time and whether it can be manipulated.

We see Tammy Laidlaw, played be Laura Doddington, with great insight into a typical teenage disregard for anyone else, and her friend Roz Butcher, played by Saskia Butler, who is just beginning to experience the attraction of the opposite sex, in this case Tammy's brother Ian, played by Ryan Early, of whom too much is expected. The parents, surgeon father Andrew, played by Philip York, and mother Josie, played by Eileen Battye, try to understand the unfathomable motivation of a new generation of teenagers and try to do the right things for them. All are going, it seems, in the wrong direction, but can you get things right and make them go in a planned direction or is it out of everyone's control? Lots of questions which are explored in a beautiful piece of writing.

This is a play that makes you think and makes you wonder which way time is travelling. Is there someone or something controlling what is happening? It seems that we cannot plot our destiny, but in some strange way it all works out right in the end. A piece of theatre to make every effort to go and see. Pity about the programme which had print that disappeared on the page in the dimly lit theatre, but even that did not stop the audience, of all ages, enjoying the thought provoking questions put before them. © BA

“Miss Yesterday” is at the Round, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from the 8th December until the 8th January, 2004. This is a No Smoking theatre for this production — let us hope it continues.

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