Alan Ayckbourn will direct the London premiere of his new comedy The Things We Do For Love which opens at the Gielgud Theatre on 3 March 1998. The play had its world premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in April 1997 to much acclaim.
The play tells the story of a landlady who rents out her top floor flat to an old friend but discovers that she detests - and then begins to love - the friend's fiance. Ayckbourn explores the effects of love, whether we can do without it and how, once we have it, we will do almost anything to hang onto it.
The production stars Jane Asher, who last year appeared in the Royal Court's The Shallow End, along with Steven Pacey, seen this year in Blithe Spirit at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Serena Evans from the BBC TV series The Thin Blue Line and Barry McArthur. The Things We Do For Love is Ayckbourn's 52nd play.
The Peter Hall production of Wilde's An Ideal Husband, starring Martin Shaw and Kate O'Mara, has been on at the Gielgud since mid-October and has just extended its run by six weeks to 21 February. The production seems to have nine lives, having run for seven months at this venue in 1992, for three months at the Haymarket in 1996, nine months at the Old Vic and a season on Broadway. It returned to the West End and the Haymarket in August before transferring to the Gielgud for another stint. It will, however, need to move to make room for The Things We Do For Love so will need to find yet another home if it wants to extend its run again.