Alan Ayckbourn's Welcome to the Family

This year Alan Ayckbourn has chosen to premiere his new play at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere. We were very excited when we read that this was happening and quickly booked tickets. So, on Friday we spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the theatre watching Welcome to the Family.

Welcome to the Family is Alan Ayckbourn's 88th play and he certainly hasn't lost any of his wit and charm. The synopsis of the play was enticing and intriguing:

Josh is keen to introduce his fiancĂ©e Sara to his parents – Lord and Lady Meizner; but as they are deceased, this should have posed a problem…. Enter Josh’s wicked Uncle Lance who has gifted him a state-of-the-art “Capture” visit to the past enabling him to revisit his family home whenever he likes. Celebratory champagne flows but family secrets are also about to be spilled.

Welcome to the Family is set in a dystopian near-future, where computer technology has created a virtual reality game in which "players" are able to revisit a particular place and time, which has previously been "captured". In the case of Welcome to the Family Josh is able to revisit his long-dead parents, and has chosen to do so many times, 43 times in fact.

Once we'd understood the play's premise and the hi-tech futurism in use, it was clear that this was a conventional comedy of manners within a drawing room setting. A typical Alan Ayckbourn play!

Welcome to the Family isn't Ayckbourn's first foray into Sci-Fi, he appears to have a fascination with the possibilities of technology and the future.

The play is very funny and clever, and provided us with an excellent evening's entertainment.