Claire Sweeney and John Thomson star in September in the Rain revival

Claire Sweeney and John Thomson star in September in the Rain revival

The nostalgic John Godber comedy is a warm memory of old fashioned fun

John Godber was one of the UK’s most performed playwrights during the 1990s: his blend of bittersweet comedy and recognisable characters ensured an enduring popularity: his Bouncers is still being performed at least once a week somewhere in the world. But even when first performed in 1983, September in the Rain was a slice of nostalgia, sentimentally recalling a generation who holidayed in Blackpool and the era of donkey rides, difficult deckchairs and saucy postcards.

Godber acknowledges September as both looking backwards and intensely personal: the inspiration for the holidaymaking couple came from memories of his grandfather. The married couple Jack and Liz, played by Claire Sweeney (Lindsay Corkhill from Brookside) and John Thomson (the cool presenter of Jazz Club), were played in the original production by Godber himself and his future wife.

Less an acerbic swipe at traditional values than a warm memory of old fashioned fun, Godber regards September as being about the value of love, burnished by time and shared experience. Jack and Liz remember past holidays – from their honeymoon years into old age – and despite the disasters of weather, bad accommodation and emotional constipation, represent a bygone vision of marital happiness.

Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Mon 25–Sat 30 Nov.

September in the Rain

John Godber's play about a Yorkshire couple told through their annual summer holiday jaunt across the Pennines to Blackpool.