Ayckbourn, Stirred and Shaken

PlayBlog   Ayckbourn, Stirred and Shaken
Considering how intensely he mixes it up in his comedies, it may come as no surprise to you that playwright Alan Ayckbourn is also a mixologist (that is, a bartender) in his spare time.

"He mixes all the time in Scarborough, where he has a very lovely home and lots of places to mix drinks and, indeed, test them out on friends and drink them," said Peter Tear, who's executive producer at 59E59 Theaters, where Sir Alan's 73rd (and almost-sold-out) opus, My Wonderful Day, is playing through Dec. 12.

To mark the spot, the playwright has concocted a couple of drinks inspired by the play, and they are being served — "served up" — at the E: Bar on the second floor.

"The Barnstairs Bombshell" consists of light rum, Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, with a cherry garnish. (The bartender will, on request, bring this down a notch or two.)

"The Wonderful Winnie" (dark rum, French vermouth, cointreau, fresh orange juice and grenadine) is named for the central character, Winnie Barnstairs, a nine-year-old girl who determinedly hammers out a school essay called "My Wonderful Day" while plopped down in the middle of a bedroom farce at full gallop. Ayesha Antoine, who is 3-1/2 times older than that, plays the character — quite convincingly, too.

In honor of the first Ayckbourn to play 59E59, and a world premiere, at that — Private Fears in Public Places in 2005 — the author created "The Fresh Wind" (vodka, French vermouth, pink grapefruit and a splash of cointreau).

Alexandra Mathie, an actress in both My Wonderful Day and Private Fears in Public Places, created "The Scarborough Rock" (Bombay Sapphire Gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, freshly squeezed orange juice and an orange twist).

— Harry Haun

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