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Haunting Julia

Alan Ayckbourn

Full Length Play, Drama  /  1f, 3m

Julia Lukin was a musical prodigy who committed suicide 12 years ago. Her father Joe has never come to terms with her death, and in the Julia Larkin Centre For Performing Studies, he hopes to discover what happened by meeting with a psychic, Ken, and Julia's boyfriend, Andy, who was the last person to see her alive. The men meet in Julia's preserved bedroom and Joe reveals that he believes Julia is trying to contact him, haunting him in order to explain what happened. Between the three men, the story of Julia's life and death is gradually revealed - often at odds with what each man believes he knew. Julia had ultimately been unable to cope with the pressures of both her father and her overwhelming musical gift. Joe, of course, is unwilling to accept his love could ever have led to Julia's suicide, while Andy is still guilt-ridden about whether he could have prevented the tragedy had he not broken up with her that night. Ken attempts to contact Julia, but is revealed to be a hoax when he picks up Julia's teddy-bear to receive a message. The bear is a plant, the original long since lost. Ken reveals that he has waited many years to meet Joe and explain that he knew Julia; that she would come and find refuge in his and his wife's normal life and that, contrary to what may have been said, Julia told him at the end she loved her father. Ken is actually more aware of what is happening than the others credit him for though and as each of the men's feelings and recollections come to light, Ken believes Julia is poised to appear. A door onto what should be a brick wall blows open; impossibly the original corridor is present. Julia manifests herself, visible only to Joe, although the room is wrecked by an eerie wind and the bed begins to bleed. Joe understands what Julia has endured and that she is not at peace; he is haunting her. In a final moment of understanding, Joe lets his daughter go.

Haunting Julia

by  Alan Ayckbourn

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 3m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
Description
Julia Lukin was a musical prodigy who committed suicide 12 years ago. Her father Joe has never come to terms with her death, and in the Julia Larkin Centre For Performing Studies, he hopes to discover what happened by meeting with a psychic, Ken, and Julia's boyfriend, Andy, who was the last person to see her alive. The men meet in Julia's preserved bedroom and Joe reveals that he believes Julia is trying to contact him, haunting him in order to explain what happened. Between the three men, the story of Julia's life and death is gradually revealed - often at odds with what each man believes he knew. Julia had ultimately been unable to cope with the pressures of both her father and her overwhelming musical gift. Joe, of course, is unwilling to accept his love could ever have led to Julia's suicide, while Andy is still guilt-ridden about whether he could have prevented the tragedy had he not broken up with her that night. Ken attempts to contact Julia, but is revealed to be a hoax when he picks up Julia's teddy-bear to receive a message. The bear is a plant, the original long since lost. Ken reveals that he has waited many years to meet Joe and explain that he knew Julia; that she would come and find refuge in his and his wife's normal life and that, contrary to what may have been said, Julia told him at the end she loved her father. Ken is actually more aware of what is happening than the others credit him for though and as each of the men's feelings and recollections come to light, Ken believes Julia is poised to appear. A door onto what should be a brick wall blows open; impossibly the original corridor is present. Julia manifests herself, visible only to Joe, although the room is wrecked by an eerie wind and the bed begins to bleed. Joe understands what Julia has endured and that she is not at peace; he is haunting her. In a final moment of understanding, Joe lets his daughter go.
Keywords

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • Community Theatre

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


    This title is currently restricted in London, please contact the Licensing Department for further details.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Setting: A student's attic bedroom

Casting

1f, 3m
Cast Attributes
Joe, 60s.
Andy, 30s.
Ken, 40s.
Julia (her voice)
Casting Notes

A pre-recorded female voice.

Materials

Scripts

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Media

Press

"A play for today. It touches on the failures of education and parenting, on media pressure and overdoses. Kurt Cobain comes to mind. More universally, Haunting Julia mourns how in adolescence and adulthood, we do our loves wrong." Financial Times

Videos

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Growing As a Dramatist

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Comparisons

  • Alan Ayckbourn on How to Approach His Plays

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Getting Started

  • Alan Ayckbourn on the Difference Between Then and Now

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Ideas

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Writing a Well Made Play

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Authors

Alan Ayckbourn

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Alan Ayckbourn joining the Library Theatre company in Scarborough, of which he was the Artistic Director for 37 years and where he made both his professional playwriting in 1959 and his directorial debut in 1961.He has spent his life in theatre, rarely if ever tempted by tel ...

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