Village politics at Bath

ALAN Ayckbourn’s comedy Ten Times Table is on a UK tour, and comes to Bath Theatre Royal from 2nd to 7th Decem­ber.

This  hil­arious play  is directed by Robin Herford and with cast is led by Robert Daws, with Mark Curry, Robert Duncan, Craig Gazey, Deb­orah Grant, Gemma Oaten   and Elizabeth Power.

It’s set in the village of Pendon, where a committee has been set up to organise a folk festival. The action takes place in the once grand ballroom of the Swan Hotel, where the committee members compete for ideas and jockey for power – all over tea and biscuits.

Chairman Ray wants the festival to open with an uplifting pageant based on an arcane incident in local history, The Massacre of the Pendon Twelve. The committee,   which includes Ray’s wife Helen, a Marxist school teacher, a military dog breeder and an octogenarian secretary, breaks into two factions. Before long their wrangling turns into a situation that mirrors the original massacre.

It’s 60 years since Alan Ayck­bourn’s professional playwriting debut and he has so far written 83 plays. His work has been translated into more than 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless national and international awards.

Ten Times Table was first performed in 1977.  The nine performances in Bath are nightly at 7.30 with 2.30 matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more details, call 01225 448844 or visit the website, www.theatreroyal.org.uk

Photographs by Pamela Raith