Renowned Ayckbourn associate returns to direct Oldham’s revival of a West End hit

A NEW production of Alan Ayckbourn’s first West End hit ‘Relatively Speaking’ is coming to Oldham Coliseum this spring.

The Coliseum’s production is directed by Robin Herford, who performed in the 1977 revival of the same play, directed by Ayckbourn himself at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.


Director, Robin Herford, performing as Greg in the same play in 1977

This comedy of misunderstanding involves two couples, one young and co-habiting and one older, married and fraught.

When inexperienced Greg finds a pair of strange slippers under the bed, he decides to follow girlfriend, Ginny, thinking that she is visiting her parents. What follows is a hilarious combination of twists, turns and confusion, plus a smattering of infidelity.

‘Relatively Speaking’ first opened in July 1965 as ‘Meet My Father’ at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, directed by Stephen Joseph.

On 29 March 1967 it transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End, where, under the new title of ‘Relatively Speaking’, it ran for more than 350 performances.

In 1969 it became the first of Ayckbourn’s plays to be adapted for television.

Best known as the director of the phenomenally successful stage adaptation of ‘The Woman in Black’, Robin Herford spent much of his early career working with Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and has appeared in the original production of more Ayckbourn plays than any other actor.

He was appointed Associate Director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1979 and was Artistic Director from 1986 to 1988, whilst Ayckbourn was Company Director at the National Theatre.

Oldham Coliseum’s ‘Relatively Speaking’ features Crispin Letts, who has appeared in hit feature films ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘Skyfall’.

Also starring will be Jo Mousley, who performed in the Coliseum’s Manchester Theatre Award winning regional premier of ‘The Father’ in summer 2017; Lianne Harvey, who won multiple awards in 2017 for her role in feature film ‘Bikini Blue’; and Matt Connor, who was last in Oldham for the Coliseum’s autumn 2017 productions of ‘Oh What A Lovely War’ and ‘Up ‘N’ Under’.

‘Relatively Speaking’ runs from Friday, April 20 to Saturday, May 5 at Oldham Coliseum Theatre.
Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on: 0161 624 2829 or online at:

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