THIS September, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough presents the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s 81st play.

A Brief History of Women is a comedy in four parts about an unremarkable man and the remarkable women who loved him, left him or lost him over 60 years; and of the equally remarkable old manor house that saw and heard it all happen.

From his first unsettling encounter as a very young man in 1925 to an unexpected reunion later in life, Anthony Spates’ romantic progress – fireworks, love and loss – is charted in this hilarious and gently touching comedy.

Alan Ayckbourn said: “I’ve written plays with a man as the central character, and plays with a woman as the central character. And I’ve written plays with characters that never actually appear – but I think this is the first time I’ve written a play with a house as the central character.”

A Brief History of Women features a cast of six: Russell Dixon, Antony Eden, Frances Marshall, Laura Matthews, Laurence Pears and Louise Shuttleworth.

The creative team comprises designer Kevin Jenkins, who has recently designed several productions with Alan at the SJT, including Taking Steps,The Karaoke Theatre Company, Consuming Passions and No Knowing; lighting designer Jason Taylor, who has worked on many productions at the SJT; and composer Simon Slater, who last year was musical director on the NT’s hit production of Amadeus, and this summer on the SJT’s production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

A Brief History of Women can be seen in the Round at the SJT, in rep, until to Saturday 7 October. Tickets, priced from £10 to £25, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at