directed by Tim Luscombe and Alan Ayckbourn
with set design by Michael Holt
lighting by Ben Vickers,
INTIMATE EXCHANGES is one of Alan Ayckbourn’s most ambitious works. It is made up of eight plays which can be seen in any order with sixteen different endings depending on decisions the characters make during the play.
All eight plays have just two actors, Bill Champion and Claudia Elmhirst, who play all ten very different characters in the sequence. The plays are and are produced by Ayckbourn's Stephen Joseph Theatre.
- Affairs in a Tent
Celia finally breaks free! But how can she hope to succeed as an independent entrepreneur when her choice of business partner is the unstable Lionel Hepplewick and she launches their enterprise in the VIP tea tent at the school sports day under the skeptical eye of her husband, Toby. When there’s a crisis with the sandwiches and mayhem in the mothers’ race Miles secretly fears that all could end in madness.
- Events on a Hotel Terrace
Celia Teasdale doesn’t have the best relationship with her husband headmaster, Toby. So when temptation presents itself in the form of virile, young school caretaker, Lionel Hepplewick, what is Celia to do? Perhaps a holiday with Toby to help restore the marriage? But Lionel is a man smitten by love. And a Hepplewick’s passion, once aroused, knows no boundaries.
- A Garden Fete
Sometimes young Sylvie Bell feels that her whole life has been mapped out in advance. Marriage to Lionel Hepplewick, producing several children, never moving more than a few miles away, probably dying in the same house she was born in. Occasionally Sylvie dreams of bigger, more exciting things. All she needs is a little extra education. But is alcoholic headmaster Toby Teasdale the man to provide it for her?
- A Pageant
Sylvie Bell resolves to make a fresh start when stung by criticism from fiancé, Lionel. Out with the old, in with the new and Lionel is the first thing to go. The new starts with some self-improving private English Literature lessons from Toby. But Sylvie is caught in a tangle of marital repercussions. And Toby, struggling to stage the school’s historical pageant, is caught between two warring Boadiceas, both intent on vengeance.
- A Cricket Match
United by unsatisfactory marriages Miles Coombes and Celia Teasdale embark on a secret affair. But they make a glumly mismatched couple. What’s the point anyway when the whole village knows and Miles’ wife Rowena isn’t the least bit jealous. And there are dangers for Celia in carrying on with her husband Toby’s best friend, particularly when they’re both on the same cricket team. A 'friendly' match gets out of hand…
- A Game of Golf
Celia intends to stand by Toby when he decides to turn over a new leaf. But his healthy new life style involves spending all day on the golf course with his best friend Miles. Neither Celia nor Miles’ wife Rowena take kindly to becoming ‘golf widows’. Unfortunately they choose to hold their showdown on the golf course in the middle of the Ladies’ International Friendly Match, igniting the fury of the England skipper.
- A One Man Protest
Flighty free spirit Rowena Coombes leads her poor husband Miles a terrible dance. Perhaps though, on reflection, choosing to barricade yourself inside your best friend Toby Teasdale’s garden shed wasn’t the best idea but then, this is an urgent cry for help. Unfortunately for Miles, his call is answered by not one but three very determined women.
- Love in the Mist
Miles feels middle age beckoning. Perhaps it’s time to take the plunge, embark on a romantic adventure. After all, it seems his wife, Rowena is having romantic adventures with half the men in the village. Miles plans the holiday of a lifetime - all he needs is to share it with a sympathetic companion. But one man’s dream can be another woman’s nightmare.