Alan Ayckbourn

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Alan Ayckbourn

Sir Alan Ayckbourn P4220001.JPG
Ayckbourn at the National Theatre, April 2010
Born (1939-04-12) 12 April 1939 (age 83)
Hampstead, London, England
OccupationPlaywright, director

Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE FRSA (born 12 April 1939) is a prolific British playwright and director. He has written and produced as of 2021, more than eighty full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1967.


Major successes include Absurd Person Singular (1975), The Norman Conquests trilogy (1973), Bedroom Farce (1975), Just Between Ourselves (1976), A Chorus of Disapproval (1984), Woman in Mind (1985), A Small Family Business (1987), Man of the Moment (1988), House & Garden (1999) and Private Fears in Public Places (2004). His plays have won numerous awards, including seven London Evening Standard Awards. They have been translated into over 35 languages and are performed on stage and television throughout the world. Ten of his plays have been staged on Broadway, attracting two Tony nominations, and one Tony award.



Ayckbourn was born in Hampstead, London. [1] [2] His mother Irene Worley ("Lolly") (1906–1998) was a writer of short stories who published under the name "Mary James". [3] His father, Horace Ayckbourn (1904–1965), was an orchestral violinist and was the lead violinist at the London Symphony Orchestra. [4] His parents, who separated shortly after World War II, never married, and Ayckbourn's mother divorced her first husband to marry again in 1948. [1]

Ayckbourn wrote his first play at Wisborough Lodge (a preparatory school in the village of Wisborough Green) when he was about 10. [5] Whilst at prep school as a boarder, his mother wrote to tell him she was marrying Cecil Pye, a bank manager. When he went home for the holidays, his new family consisted of his mother, his stepfather and Christopher, his stepfather's son by an earlier marriage. This relationship too, reportedly ran into difficulties early on. [6]

Ayckbourn attended Haileybury and Imperial Service College, in the village of Hertford Heath, and whilst there toured Europe and America with the school's Shakespeare company. [2] [7]

Adult life

After leaving school at 17, Ayckbourn's career took several temporary jobs in various places before starting a temporary job at the Scarborough Library Theatre, where he was introduced to the artistic director, Stephen Joseph. [2] [8] It is said that Joseph became both a mentor and father figure for Ayckbourn until his untimely death in 1967, [9] and Ayckbourn has consistently spoken highly of him. [10]

Ayckbourn's career was briefly interrupted when he was called for National Service. He was swiftly discharged, officially on medical grounds, but it is suggested that a doctor who noticed his reluctance to join the Armed Forces deliberately failed the medical as a favour. [11] Although Ayckbourn continued to move where his career took him, he settled in Scarborough, eventually buying Longwestgate House, which had previously been owned by his mentor Joseph. [12]

In 1957, Ayckbourn married Christine Roland, another member of the Library Theatre company, [13] [14] [15] and indeed Ayckbourn's first two plays were written jointly with her under the pseudonym of "Roland Allen". [16] They had two sons, Steven and Philip. [17] However, the marriage had difficulties which eventually led to their separation in 1971. Ayckbourn said that his relationship with Roland became easy once they agreed their marriage was over. Around this time, he started to share a home with Heather Stoney, [18] an actress he had first met ten years earlier. [19] Like his mother, neither he nor Roland sought a divorce for the next thirty years and it was only in 1997 that they formally divorced; Ayckbourn married Stoney. [13] [20] One side-effect of the timing is that, as Ayckbourn was awarded a knighthood a few months before the divorce, [21] both his first and second wife were entitled to take the title of Lady Ayckbourn.

In February 2006, he suffered a stroke in Scarborough, and stated: "I hope to be back on my feet, or should I say my left leg, as soon as possible, but I know it is going to take some time. In the meantime I am in excellent hands and so is the Stephen Joseph Theatre." [22] He left hospital after eight weeks and returned to directing after six months, [23] but the following year he announced he would step down as artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre. [24] Ayckbourn, however, continues to write and direct his own work at the theatre.

Influence on plays

Since Ayckbourn's plays started becoming established in the West End, interviewers have raised the question of whether his work is autobiographical. [25] There is no clear answer to this question. There has only been one biography, written by Paul Allen, and this primarily covers his career in the theatre. [26] Ayckbourn has frequently said he sees aspects of himself in all his characters. For example, in Bedroom Farce (1975), he admitted to being, in some respects, all four of the men in the play. [27] It has been suggested that, after Ayckbourn himself, the person who is used the most in his plays is his mother, particularly as Susan in Woman in Mind [28] (1985).

What is less clear is how much influence events in Ayckbourn's life have had on his writing. It is true that the theme of marriages in various difficulties was heavily present throughout his plays in the early seventies, around the time his own marriage was coming to an end. However, by this time, he had also witnessed the failures of his parents' relationships as well as those of some of his friends. [25] Which relationships, if any, he drew on for his plays, is unclear. In Paul Allen's biography, Ayckbourn is briefly compared to Dafydd and Guy in A Chorus of Disapproval (1984). Both characters feel themselves in trouble, and there was speculation that Ayckbourn himself may have felt himself to be in trouble. At the time, he had reportedly become seriously involved with another actress, which threatened his relationship with Stoney. [29] But again, it is unclear whether this had any effect on the writing, and Paul Allen's view is that it is not current experience that Ayckbourn uses for his plays.

It could be that Ayckbourn had written plays with himself and his own issues in mind, but as Ayckbourn is portrayed as a guarded and private man, [26] it is hard to imagine him exposing his own life in his plays to any great degree. In the biography, Paul Allen wrote, regarding a suggestion in Cosmopolitan that his plays were becoming autobiographical: "If we take that to mean that his plays tell his own life story, he still hasn't started." [25]


Early career and acting

On leaving school his theatrical career began immediately, with an introduction to Sir Donald Wolfit by his French master. [30] Ayckbourn joined Wolfit on tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as an acting assistant stage manager (meaning a role that involved both acting and stage management) for three weeks, [2] [31] with his first role on the professional stage being various parts in The Strong are Lonely by Fritz Hochwälder. [32] In the following year, Ayckbourn appeared in six other plays at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, [2] [33] and the Thorndike theatre, Leatherhead. [2] [34]

In 1957, Ayckbourn was employed by the director Stephen Joseph at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, the predecessor to the modern Stephen Joseph Theatre. [2] [8] His role, again, was initially as acting stage manager. [2] [8] This employment led to Ayckbourn's first professional script commission, in 1958. When he complained about the quality of a script he was performing, Joseph challenged him to write a better one. The result was The Square Cat, written under the pseudonym Roland Allen and first performed in 1959. [35] In this play, Ayckbourn himself played the character Jerry Watiss. [32]

After thirty-four appearances in plays at the Library Theatre, including four of his own, in 1962 Ayckbourn moved to Stoke-on-Trent to help set up the Victoria Theatre, (now the New Vic), [36] where he appeared in a further eighteen plays. [32] His final appearance in one of his own plays was as the Crimson Gollywog in the disastrous children's play Christmas v Mastermind. [37] He left the Stoke company in 1964, officially to commit his time to the London production of Mr. Whatnot, but reportedly because was having trouble working with the artistic director, Peter Cheeseman. [38] By now, his career as a writer was coming to fruition, and his acting career was sidelined.

His final role on stage was as Jerry in Two for the Seesaw by William Gibson, at the Civic Theatre in Rotherham. [32] He was left stranded on stage because Heather Stoney (his future wife) was unable to re-appear due to her props not prepared to be used. This led him to decide acting was more trouble than it was worth. [39] The assistant stage manager on the production, Bill Kenwright, would become one of the UK's most successful producers.


Ayckbourn's earliest plays were written and produced at a time when the Scarborough Library theatre, like most regional theatres, regularly commissioned work from their own actors to keep costs down[ citation needed ] (another actor whose work was being commissioned being David Campton). [40] His first play, The Square Cat, was sufficiently popular locally to secure further commissions although not this or the following three plays had much impact beyond Scarborough. [41] But, after his transfer to Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, there came Christmas v Mastermind, which flopped and is now universally regarded as Ayckbourn's greatest disaster. [42] [43]

His fortunes began to revive in 1963 with Mr. Whatnot, again premiering at the Victoria Theatre. This was the first play that Ayckbourn was sufficiently happy with to allow performances today,[ clarification needed ] and the first play to receive a West End performance. However, the West End production flopped, in part down to misguided casting. [44] [45] After this, Ayckbourn experimented by collaborating with comedians, first writing a monologue for Tommy Cooper, and later with Ronnie Barker, who played Lord Slingsby-Craddock in the London production of Mr Whatnot in 1964, for the scripts of for LWT's Hark at Barker . Ayckbourn used the pseudonym Peter Caulfield because he was under exclusive contract to the BBC at the time. [46]

Then, in 1965, back at the Scarborough Library Theatre, Meet my Father was produced, later retitled Relatively Speaking . This time, the play was a massive success, both in Scarborough and the West End, earning Alan Ayckbourn a congratulatory telegram from Noël Coward. [47] [48] This was not quite the end of Ayckbourn's hit-and-miss record, because his next play, The Sparrow only ran for three weeks at Scarborough. [49] [50] However, the following play, How the Other Half Loves , secured his runaway success as a playwright. [51] [52]

The height of Ayckbourn's commercial success included Absurd Person Singular (1975), The Norman Conquests trilogy (1973), Bedroom Farce (1975) and Just Between Ourselves (1976), all plays that focused heavily on marriage in the British middle classes. The only failure during this period was a 1975 musical with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jeeves , and even this did little to dent Ayckbourn's career. [53] [54]

From the 1980s, Ayckbourn began to move away from the recurring themes of marriage and explore other contemporary themes, one example being Woman in Mind , a play performed entirely from the perspective of a woman going through a nervous breakdown. [55] [56] He also experimented with several more unconventional ways of writing plays, such as Intimate Exchanges, which has one beginning and sixteen possible endings, and House & Garden , where two plays take place simultaneously on two separate stages, as well as diversifying into children's theatre (such as Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays and musical plays, such as By Jeeves (a more successful rewrite of the original Jeeves).

With a résumé of over seventy plays, of which more than forty have played at the National Theatre or in the West End, Alan Ayckbourn is one of England's most successful living playwrights. Despite his success, honours and awards (which include a prestigious Laurence Olivier Award), Alan Ayckbourn remains a relatively anonymous figure dedicated to regional theatre. [57] Throughout his writing career, all but four of his plays were premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in its three different locations. [2]

Ayckbourn received the CBE in 1987 [2] [58] and was knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours. [2] [21] It is frequently claimed [59] (but not proven) [60] that Alan Ayckbourn is the most performed living English playwright, and the second most performed of all time after Shakespeare.

Although Ayckbourn's plays no longer dominate the theatrical scene on the scale of his earlier works, he continues to write, his most recent major success being Private Fears in Public Places that had a hugely successful Off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters, and in 2006 was made into a film Cœurs , directed by Alain Resnais. [61] After suffering a stroke, there was uncertainty as to whether he could continue to write [62] (the Ayckbourn play premiered immediately after the stroke, If I Were You , was written before his illness), but his first play written afterwards, Life and Beth , was premiered in the summer of 2008. Ayckbourn continues to write for the Stephen Joseph Theatre on invitation of his successor as artistic director, Chris Monks, with the first new play under this arrangement, My Wonderful Day , performed in October 2009. [63] His play Roundelay opened in September 2014; the order in which each of the five acts is played in each performance is to be left to chance (allowing 120 possible permutations), with members of the audience being invited to extract five coloured ping pong balls from a bag beforehand. [64]

Many of Ayckbourn's plays have had their New York premiere at 59E59 Theaters as part of their annual Brits Off Broadway Festitval including Private Fears in Public Places , Intimate Exchanges , My Wonderful Day and Neighbourhood Watch among others.


Although Ayckbourn is best known as a writer, it is said that he only spends 10% of his time writing plays. Most of the rest of his time is spent directing. [65]

Ayckbourn began directing at the Scarborough Library Theatre in 1961, with a production of Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton. [65] [66] He directed five other plays that year and the following year in Scarborough, and after transferring to the Victoria Theatre, directed a further six plays in 1963. Between 1964 and 1967 (when much of his time was taken up by various productions of his early successes Mr. Whatnot and Relatively Speaking ) he only directed one play ( The Sparrow , written by himself, later withdrawn), but in 1968 he resumed regularly directing plays, mostly at Scarborough. [66] At this time he also worked as a radio drama producer for the BBC, based in Leeds.

At first, his directing career was separate from his writing career. It was not until 1963 that Ayckbourn directed a play of his own (a revival of Standing Room Only), 1967 that Ayckbourn directed a premiere of his own (The Sparrow). [66] The London premieres remained in the hands of other directors for longer, with the first play of his both written and directed by him in London ( Bedroom Farce ) waiting until 1977. [67] [68]

After the death of Stephen Joseph in 1967, the position of Director of Productions was appointed on an annual basis. Ayckbourn was offered this position in 1969 and 1970, succeeding Rodney Wood, but he handed the position over to Caroline Smith in 1971 (having spent most of his time that year in the US with How the Other Half Loves ). He became Director of Productions again in 1972, and this time, on 12 November that same year, he was made the permanent artistic director of the theatre. [69]

In mid-1986, Ayckbourn accepted an invitation to work as a visiting director for two years at the National Theatre in London, form his own company, and perform a play in each of the three auditoria provided at least one was a new play of his own. [70] Using a stock company that included performers such as Michael Gambon, Polly Adams and Simon Cadell. The three plays became four, and were: Tons of Money by Will Evans and Valentine, with adaptations by Ayckbourn (Lyttelton), Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge (Cottesloe), his own A Small Family Business (Olivier) and John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Olivier again). [71] During this time, Ayckbourn shared his role of artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre with Robin Herford [70] [72] and returned in 1987 to direct the premiere of Henceforward... . [68] [72]

He announced in 1999 that he would step back from directing the work of other playwrights, to concentrate on his own plays, [73] the last one being Rob Shearman's Knights in Plastic Armour in 1999; the exception being in 2002 when he directed the world premiere of Tim Firth's The Safari Party. [74]

In 2002, following a dispute over the Duchess Theatre's handling of Damsels in Distress , Ayckbourn sharply criticised both this and the West End's treatment of theatre in general, in particular their casting of celebrities. [75] Although he did not explicitly say he would boycott the West End, he did not return to direct in the West End again until 2009 with a revival of Woman in Mind [76] (although he did allow other West End producers to revive Absurd Person Singular [77] in 2007 and The Norman Conquests [78] in 2008).

After Ayckbourn suffered a stroke in February 2006, he returned to work in September and premiered his 70th play If I Were You at the Stephen Joseph Theatre the following month. [79]

He announced in June 2007 that he would retire as artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre after the 2008 season. [24] His successor, Chris Monks, took over at the start of the 2009–2010 season, [80] but Ayckbourn remained to direct premieres and revivals of his work at the theatre, beginning with How the Other Half Loves in June 2009. [81]

In March 2010 he directed an in-the-round revival of his play Taking Steps at the Orange Tree Theatre, winning universal press acclaim. [82]

In July 2014, Ayckbourn directed a musical adaptation of The Boy Who Fell into A Book, with musical adaptation and lyrics by Paul James and music by Eric Angus and Cathy Shostak. The show ran in The Stephen Joseph Theatre and received critical acclaim.

Honours and awards

Ayckbourn also sits on the Council of the Society of Authors. [85]


Full-length plays

Play number [nb 1] TitleSeries Scarborough premiere [86] [nb 2] West End premiere [87] New York premiere [88]
1The Square Cat [nb 3] 30 July 1959
2Love After All [nb 3] 21 December 1959
3Dad's Tale [nb 3] 19 December 1960
4Standing Room Only [nb 3] 13 July 1961(12 June 1966) [nb 4]
5Christmas V Mastermind [nb 3] 26 December 1962
6Mr Whatnot12 November 19636 August 1964
7 Relatively Speaking [nb 5] 9 July 196529 March 1967
8 The Sparrow [nb 3] 13 July 1967
9 How the Other Half Loves 31 July 19695 August 197029 March 1971
10Family Circles [nb 6] 20 August 19708 October 1974
11Time And Time Again8 July 197116 August 1972
12 Absurd Person Singular 26 June 19724 July 19738 October 1974
13 The Norman Conquests Table Manners [nb 7] 18 June 19739 May 19747 December 1975
14 Living Together [nb 8] 26 June 197321 May 19747 December 1975
15Round and Round the Garden2 July 19736 June 19747 December 1975
16 Absent Friends 17 June 197423 July 1975
17 Confusions [nb 9] 30 September 197419 May 1976
18 Jeeves [nb 3] [nb 10] 22 April 1975
19 Bedroom Farce 16 June 197516 March 197729 March 1979
20Just Between Ourselves28 January 197620 April 1977
21Ten Times Table18 January 19775 April 1978
22 Joking Apart 11 January 19787 March 1979
23 Sisterly Feelings 10/11 January 1979 [nb 11] 3/4 June 1980 [nb 11]
24 Taking Steps 28 September 19792 September 198020 February 1991
25Suburban Strains18 January 19805 February 1981
26 Season's Greetings 25 September 198029 March 1982
27 Way Upstream 2 October 19814 October 1982
28 Making Tracks [nb 3] 16 December 198114 March 1983
29 Intimate Exchanges [nb 12] Affairs in a Tent3 June 198214 August 1984(31 May 2007) [nb 13]
Events on a Hotel Terrace
A Garden Fete
A Pageant
A Cricket Match
A Game of Golf
A One Man Protest
Love in the Mist
30 It Could Be Any One Of Us [nb 14] 5 October 198314 March 1983

A Chorus of Disapproval

2 May 19841 August 1985
32 Woman in Mind 30 May 19853 September 1986
33 A Small Family Business 20 May 198727 April 1992
34 Henceforward... 30 July 198721 November 1988
35 Man of the Moment 10 August 198814 February 1990
36 Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays 30 November 19884 March 1993

The Revengers' Comedies [nb 15]

13 June 198913 March 1991
38 Invisible Friends 23 November 198913 March 1991
39 Body Language 21 May 1990
40This Is Where We Came In4/11 January 1990
41Callisto 5 [nb 16] 12 December 1990
42 Wildest Dreams 6 May 199114 December 1993
43My Very Own Story10 August 1991
44 Time of My Life 21 April 19923 August 19936 June 2014
45Dreams From A Summer House26 August 1992
46 Communicating Doors 2 February 19947 August 1995
47 Haunting Julia [nb 17] 20 April 1994
48The Musical Jigsaw Play [nb 3] 1 December 1994
49A Word From Our Sponsor20 April 1995
(18) By Jeeves [nb 10] 2 July 19962 July 199628 October 2001
50The Champion Of Paribanou4 December 1996
51 Things We Do For Love 29 April 1997 [nb 18] 2 March 1998
52 Comic Potential 4 June 199813 October 1999
53 The Boy Who Fell into a Book 4 December 1998
54 House and Garden [nb 19] House17 June 1999 [nb 18] 8 August 2000
55Garden17 June 19998 August 2000
(41)Callisto#7 [nb 16] 4 December 1999
56 Virtual Reality [nb 3] 8 February 2000 [nb 18]
57 Whenever 5 December 2000
58 Damsels in Distress GamePlan 29 May 20017 September 2002
59 FlatSpin 3 July 20017 September 2002
60 RolePlay 4 September 20017 September 2002
61 Snake in the Grass [nb 17] 5 June 2002
62 The Jollies 3 December 2002
63 Sugar Daddies 23 July 2003
64 Orvin – Champion of Champions 8 August 2003
65 My Sister Sadie 2 December 2003
66 Drowning on Dry Land 4 May 2004
67 Private Fears in Public Places 17 August 2004(5 May 2005) [nb 20] (9 June 2005) [nb 20]
68 Miss Yesterday 2 December 2004
69 Improbable Fiction 31 May 2005
70 If I Were You 17 October 2006
71 Things That Go Bump Life and Beth [nb 17] 22 July 2008
72 Awaking Beauty 16 December 2008
73 My Wonderful Day 13 October 2009
74 Life of Riley 16 September 2010
75 Neighbourhood Watch 13 September 2011
76Surprises17 July 2012
77Arrivals & Departures6 August 201329 May 2014
78Roundelay9 September 2014
79The Divide (Parts One and Two)30 January 2018
80Anno Domino25 May 2020
81The Girl Next Door8 June 2021
  1. This numbering is the system used by the official Ayckbourn site as to how many plays have been written. This includes the full-length plays performed but later withdrawn and full-length plays for family audiences, but excludes revues and musical entertainments, adaptations of other plays, plays for children, individual one-act plays, "grey plays" (those written for performance but not publication) and plays for television. It also treats each of the plays in The Norman Conquests , House and Garden and Damsels in Distress as one play each, the one-acts from Confusions as a single full-length play, all variations of Intimate Exchanges as one play (likewise for Sisterly Feelings and It Could Be Any One Of Us), both parts of The Revengers' Comedies as a single play, and the rewrites of Jeeves and Callisto 5 as the same play as the original. Other sources may number plays differently.
  2. Scarborough premieres of Ayckbourn plays between 1959 and 1976 were at the original venue of the Library Theatre, and premieres between 1977 and 1995 were at the intermediate venue of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round at Westwood. Premieres from 1996 were at the current Stephen Joseph Theatre, in the Round unless otherwise stated. In some productions, the official premiere date was later than the actual opening night. The premiere date is shown here.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 This play is withdrawn. It is not available for production and it is intended that the script will never be published. However, a copy is available at the Bob Watson archive in Scarborough. Archived 15 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. This play was not performed in the West End but was performed in the British Council, London Overseas Student Centre for one night only. "Alan Ayckbourn Plays: Standing Room Only". Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  5. Relatively Speaking was originally titled Meet My Father
  6. Family Circles was originally titled The Story So Far..., then Me Times Me Times Me, then Me Times Me
  7. Table Manners was originally titled Fancy Meeting You
  8. Living Together was originally titled Make Yourself at Home
  9. Confusions is a set of five loosely connected one-act plays.
  10. 1 2 Jeeves is a musical collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber, re-written 1996 as By Jeeves .
  11. 1 2 Two variations of Sisterly Feelings were premiered on separate nights.
  12. Intimate Exchanges is a play with four two-way forks in the plot, thereby offering sixteen possible variations depending on choices made by the characters. The eight variations offered after the third fork are often treated as individual plays.
  13. The New York Premiere of Intimate Exchanges, was off-Broadway at 59E59 as part of the 2006–07 revival.
  14. It Could Be Any One Of Us is a single play with three alternative endings.
  15. The Revengers' Comedies is a two-part play normally performed over two separate evenings.
  16. 1 2 Callisto 5 was re-written in 1999 as Callisto #7.
  17. 1 2 3 Haunting Julia and Snake in the Grass were originally written as stand-alone plays. In 2008, they were included in the trilogy Things That Go Bump with the newly written Life and Beth.
  18. 1 2 3 Performed end-stage in the McCarthy Auditorium
  19. House and Garden are a pair of plays intended to be performed simultaneously as a diptych
  20. 1 2 Private Fears in Public Places did not have West End or Broadway performances, but did have a London Premiere at the Orange Tree Theatre in the London Borough of Richmond, and off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters.

One-act plays

There are eight one-act plays written by Alan Ayckbourn. Five of them (Mother Figure, Drinking Companion, Between Mouthfuls, Gosforth's Fete and Widows Might) were written for Confusions , first performed in 1974.

The other three one-act plays were:


Film adaptations of Ayckbourn plays

Plays adapted as films include:


  1. 1 2 P. Allen, 2001, p. 9
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Biography on the official Alan Ayckbourn website Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine accessed 17 April 2019
  3. P. Allen, 2001, p. 10
  4. P. Allen, 2001, p. 6
  5. P. Allen, 2001, p. 20
  6. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 17–19
  7. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 30–33
  8. 1 2 3 P. Allen, 2001, pp. 43–46
  9. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 118–119
  10. Ayckbourn, Alan (2003). The Crafty Art of Playmaking, Faber, ISBN   0-571-21509-2
  11. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 72–75
  12. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 145–146
  13. 1 2 20 Facts about Alan Ayckbourn Archived 19 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine accessed 5 January 2009
  14. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 297–299
  15. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 65–67
  16. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 67–72
  17. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 69, 85
  18. P. Allen, 2001, p. 132
  19. P. Allen, 2001, p. 88
  20. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 297–298
  21. 1 2 P. Allen, 2001, p. 295
  22. "Scarborough Evening News, 28 February 2006". 28 February 2006. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  23. Mark Lawson (4 October 2006). "The Guardian, 4 October 2006". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  24. 1 2 "BBC News, 4 June 2007". BBC News. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  25. 1 2 3 P. Allen, 2001, p. 123
  26. 1 2 P. Allen, 2001,
  27. P. Allen, 2001, p. 155
  28. P. Allen, 2001, p. 3
  29. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 209–210
  30. P. Allen, 2001, p. 32
  31. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 36–38
  32. 1 2 3 4 "Acting career on official Ayckbourn site". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  33. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 38–40
  34. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 41–43
  35. P. Allen, 2001, p. 65
  36. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 87–88
  37. P. Allen, 2001, p. 90
  38. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 98–99
  39. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 99–100
  40. David Campton Feature Archived 4 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine on Samuel French website
  41. History of early plays on official Ayckbourn site [ permanent dead link ] [ permanent dead link ] "Alan Ayckbourn Plays: Dad's Tale". Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009. "Alan Ayckbourn Plays: Standing Room Only". Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  42. Christmas v Mastermind history Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine on official Ayckbourn site.
  43. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 89–90
  44. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 96, 101–102
  45. Mr. Whatnot history [ permanent dead link ] on official Ayckbourn site.
  46. P. Allen, 2001, p. 108
  47. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 109–113
  48. Relatively Speaking history Archived 22 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine on official Ayckbourn site
  49. P. Allen, 2001, p. 119
  50. The Sparrow history [ permanent dead link ] on official Ayckbourn site
  51. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 122–123
  52. How the Other Half Loves history on official Ayckbourn site
  53. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 146–148
  54. Jeeves history Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine on official Ayckbourn site
  55. P. Allen, 2001, pp. 213–217
  56. Woman in Mind history [ permanent dead link ] on official Ayckbourn site
  57. Gibson, Melissa (2002). "Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge". Theatre Journal.
  58. P. Allen, 2001, p. 220
  59. See, for example
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  61. Private Fears in Public Places history [ permanent dead link ] on official Ayckbourn site
  62. Hudson, Lincoln (22 March 2007). "It's easier to return to directing than writing". The Stage. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  63. News calendar Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine on official Ayckbourn site.
  64. Youngs, Ian (12 June 2014). "Sir Alan Ayckbourn: Using ping pong balls to keep theatre alive". BBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  65. 1 2 P. Allen, 2001, pp. 84–85
  66. 1 2 3 "List of plays directed by Ayckbourn 1961–1976". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  67. "List of plays directed by Ayckbourn 1976–1995". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
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Related Research Articles

<i>By Jeeves</i> Musical

By Jeeves, originally Jeeves, is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyrics and book by Alan Ayckbourn. It is based on the series of novels and short stories by P. G. Wodehouse that centre around the character of Bertie Wooster and his loyal valet, Jeeves.

<i>Way Upstream</i>

Way Upstream is a play by Alan Ayckbourn. It was first performed, under Ayckbourn's direction, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK, "in the round" at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, on 2 October 1981. Although realistic in style, with a setting of a hired cabin cruiser on an English river, some journalists read it as an allegory of the political state of England at the time, with the violent resolution of the usurping captain's tyrannical regime taking place at "Armageddon Bridge", and crew members "Alistair" and "Emma" making a new start at the end. Ayckbourn, however, always maintained he was an apolitical writer and is on frequent record for his lack of interest in party politics; his website makes it clear that the play is not about the political state of the nation.

<i>Woman in Mind</i> 32nd play by Alan Ayckbourn

Woman in Mind is the 32nd play by English playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 1985. Despite pedestrian reviews by many critics, strong audience reaction resulted in a transfer to London's West End. The play received its London opening at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1986 where it received predominantly excellent reviews.

<i>Comic Potential</i>

Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn is a romantic sci-fi comedy play. It is set in a TV studio in the foreseeable future, when low-cost androids have largely replaced actors.

<i>House</i> & <i>Garden</i> (plays) Two plays written by Alan Ayckbourn to be performed simultaneously

House and Garden are a diptych of plays written by the English playwright Alan Ayckbourn, first performed in 1999. They are designed to be staged simultaneously, with the same cast in adjacent auditoria, and were published together as House & Garden. House takes place in the drawing room, and Garden in the grounds, of a large country house. Each play is self-contained, and they may be attended in either order. As is typical of his work, Ayckbourn portrays the mostly bittersweet relationships between more or less unhappy, upper-middle-class people. The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the magazine House & Garden, in which country houses and gardens are often portrayed as idyllic, peaceful places.

Diana Morrison is a British stage, television and film actress.

<i>Private Fears in Public Places</i>

Private Fears in Public Places is a 2004 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. The bleakest play written by Ayckbourn for many years, it intimately follows a few days in the lives of six characters, in four tightly-interwoven stories through 54 scenes.

<i>Taking Steps</i>

Taking Steps is a 1979 farce by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It is set on three floors of an old and reputedly haunted house, with the stage arranged so that the stairs are flat and all three floors are on a single level.

<i>GamePlan</i> (play)

GamePlan is a 2001 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the first in a trilogy of plays called Damsels in Distress The darkest of the three plays, it is about a teenage girl who tries to support herself and her mother through prostitution.

<i>Damsels in Distress</i> (plays)

Damsels in Distress is a trilogy of plays written in 2001 by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. The three plays, GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay, were originally performed as a set by the Stephen Joseph Theatre Company (SJT). The plays were written to be performed by the same seven actors using the same set. Although the plays loosely shared some common themes, the three stories were independent of each other and unconnected.

<i>Sugar Daddies</i> (play)

Sugar Daddies is a 2003 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It is about a student who forms a friendship with a rich man over three times her age, who has a sinister past, and maybe a sinister present too.

<i>Haunting Julia</i>

Haunting Julia is a 1994 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It is about Julia Lukin, a nineteen-year-old brilliant musician who committed suicide twelve years earlier, who haunts the three men closest to her, through both the supernatural and in their memories. In 2008, it was presented as the first play of Things That Go Bump.

<i>Life and Beth</i>

Life and Beth is a 2008 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It was written as a third part of a trilogy named Things That Go Bump, uniting the cast of the first two plays: Haunting Julia (1994) and Snake in the Grass (2002). It is about a recently bereaved widow, Beth, troubled by her family's misguided support and a late husband who won't leave her alone.

Things That Go Bump is a season of plays performed in 2008 by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn.

<i>Awaking Beauty</i>

Awaking Beauty is a 2008 musical with words by Alan Ayckbourn and music by Denis King. It was shown as the Stephen Joseph Theatre's Christmas production, but, unlike earlier productions, was expressly billed as not suitable for young children. The musical is a parody sequel to Sleeping Beauty, where the wicked witch Carabosse also falls in love with the prince, and uses her own dark magic and dirty tricks to try to make him her own.

<i>My Wonderful Day</i>

My Wonderful Day is a 2009 play by Alan Ayckbourn. It is about a nine-year-old girl, Winnie, who has an essay to write about her day, and records the shenanigans of grown-ups around her.

<i>The Boy Who Fell into a Book</i>

The Boy Who Fell Into a Book is a 1998 family play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It was premièred as the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 1998 Christmas production to mark the 1999 National Year of Reading. It is about a boy, Kevin, who finds himself teamed up with a fictional detective, Rockfist Slim, on a journey through the books on his shelves.

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<i>Life of Riley</i> (play)

Life of Riley is a 2010 play by Alan Ayckbourn. It was first performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.

<i>Neighbourhood Watch</i> (Ayckbourn play)

Neighbourhood Watch is a 2011 play by Alan Ayckbourn. The play premiered on 13 September 2011 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.