Theatre what’s on

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A Brief History of Women and Taking Steps - Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until October 7 in rep

Actor Antony Eden probably does not know it – or is too modest to acknowledge it – but he is the Stephen Joseph’s charm offensive this season.

He plays the stammering and sensitive Tristram in Alan Ayckbourn’s farce Taking Steps and the lonely and lovely Anthony in Ayckbourn’s newest work comedy-drama A Brief History of Women.

Choosing his favourite from the two is tough.

“Taking Steps is the funniest play I’ve read, seen or been involved with,” he said, “I have done it before and love it.

“Coming to Scarborough to do it with Alan was a no brainer. Combined with doing a new play by Alan was so exciting.

“I have never felt so attached to a part as Anthony in Brief History.

“It really shows the poetry, poignancy and beauty of an average life of an unremarkable person,” he said.

“He goes from bright-eyed innocence and depression through to serenity. It’s an extraordinary journey spanning 60 years.”

Anthony started acting professionally at nine and trained at LAMDA. He has been in the business for 29 years concentraing on theatre including setting up his own company.

He was inspired by the work at the Stephen Joseph including Woman in Black directed by Robin Herford who was then based at Scarborough.

When he was 15, Antony wrote to Robin asking permission to stage Woman in Black at his school. He later starred in the professional version of the ghost story and is now associate director on it.

“Robin is my mentor and now I am working with my mentor’s mentor.

“This has been a special season for me, one of my favourite jobs creatively and satisfying and enjoyable.

“I have been in London for 18 years and thinking it is time to get out. Being here has done nothing to hinder that desire.”