Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Woman In Mind & Invisible Friends On Tour

Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed plays Woman In Mind and Invisible Friends are about to go on tour marking a unique opportunity to see the related plays together.
Dick & Lottie - the UK's only amateur company dedicated to the playwright Alan Ayckbourn - is taking Woman In Mind & Invisible Friends on a short tour following a sell-out run at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield.
It is the first time that these plays have been performed in repertory, despite the fact the playwright considers them to be plays related in both theme and subject.
The tour is visiting The Coach House Theatre in Malvern and South Hill Park in Bracknell, both of which Dick & Lottie have toured to in previous years.
The award-winning play Woman In Mind premiered in 1984 and follows Susan, the wife of a vicar who creates a vivid fantasy life to cope with the mundanity of her marriage. But what happens when fantasy and reality collide?
Invisible Friends, which ran at the National Theatre in 1991, sees young Lucy coping with her family by inventing a invisible friend. But when Zara becomes all too real and offers to make Lucy's family vanish, Lucy has to deal with the consequences and how to get her family back.
Dick & Lottie was formed in 2004 and has produced more than 25 of Alan Ayckbourn's plays since then. The company has been officially recognised by Alan Ayckbourn - even performing for the playwright in 2015 - and the playwright's official website is the company's patron.
Details of the performances and how to book can be found below. Further details about Dick & Lottie and the productions can be found at

Woman In Mind / Invisible Friends Tour
15 October, 2016
The Coach House, Malvern
Times: 10.30am (Invisible Friends), 2.30pm (Woman In Mind) & 7.30pm (Woman In Mind).
Click here for booking.

27 - 29 October, 2016
South Hill Park, Bracknell
Times: 2pm (Invisible Friends) & 7.30pm (Woman In Mind)
Click here for booking.

Monday, September 26, 2016

This Week: 26 September 2016

Ayckbourn Plays This Week & Coming Soon
Until 7 October (in repertory): Alan Ayckbourn's The Karaoke Theatre Company (world premiere and directed by Alan Ayckbourn) at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
Until 8 October (in repertory): Henceforward... (directed by Alan Ayckbourn) at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
Until 8 October (in repertory): Consuming Passions (world premiere and directed by Alan Ayckbourn) at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
Until 1 October: Relatively Speaking at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Until 1 October: How The Other Half Loves at Duke of York's Theatre, London.
Until 13 October: The Damsels In Distress trilogy at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

News Round Up:
> Alan Ayckbourn will be talking about his career in a Teatime Talk at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on Thursday at 4.30pm. Tickets are priced at £6 and can be obtained from
> There's just two weeks left now to catch Alan Ayckbourn's three productions at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, which come to a close on 8 October. Currently you can see the playwright's new world, Consuming Passions and The Karaoke Theatre Company in repertory with a revival of his classic 1987 play, Henceforward.... All three plays are directed by Alan Ayckbourn and further details can be found at
> Alan Ayckbourn's revival of his classic 1987 play Henceforward... is now running in repertory at the Stephen Joseph Theatre with his plays The Karaoke Theatre Company and Consuming Passions until 8 October. Further details can be found at
> Alan Strachan's acclaimed West End revival of Alan Ayckbourn's How The Other Half Loves, closes at the Duke Of York's Theatre on 1 October. Further details can be found here.

Sponsoring A Play On Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website
If you have a favourite Ayckbourn play, there's opportunity to be associated with it via Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website. Every Play on the site is open to sponsorship for a nominal fee - to help with the costs of running the website and domain costs - and which gives the sponsor (individuals only, not businesses) a credit on every page relating to the specific play. You can find out more about sponsoring a play and which plays are still available by clicking here.

Event Of The Week
A weekly feature highlights an event in Alan Ayckbourn's life pertinent to the week in question.
Season's Greetings: in 1990, twenty-nine years after he made his professional directing debut, Alan Ayckbourn directed his first production of a Shakespeare play with Othello. The production took place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and featured a spectacular cast which included Michael Gambon, Ken Stott, Claire Skinner and Elizabeth Bell amongst others. Sadly, the production itself could not be termed a great success with the text heavily edited by the director and reviews generally tepid. It marked the first and last time, Alan Ayckbourn would approach the works of Shakespeare.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How Many Plays Has Alan Ayckbourn Written?

It's a frequently asked question of Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website, just how many plays has Alan Ayckbourn written?
The playwright's preferred answer is along the lines of, 'what does it matter?'; after all we don't generally feel the need to number the latest novel from prolific authors such as, say, Stephen King.
However, as the question repeatedly crops up throughout the playwright's career - and seems to have come up a number of times this summer - it is worth setting the record straight.
As of 23 September 2016, Alan Ayckbourn has officially written - and had produced - 80 plays.
This number represents the playwright's official full-length play canon carried by his official website and agreed with the playwright himself.
In addition to these 80 plays, he has also written 11 revues, 5 one act plays, 5 adaptations, 1 screenplay, 1 narrative for voices, 1 book and a number of other miscellaneous works.
The official play list can be found below (click on a title to learn more about the play from Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website).

1959   The Square Cat (01)
1959   Love After All (02)
1960   Dad's Tale (03)
1961   Standing Room Only (04)
1962   Christmas V Mastermind (05)
1963   Mr Whatnot (06)
1965   Relatively Speaking (07)
1967   The Sparrow (08)
1969   How The Other Half Loves (09)
1970   Family Circles (10)
1971   Time And Time Again (11)
1972   Absurd Person Singular (12)
1973   Table Manners (13)
1973   Living Together (14)
1973   Round & Round The Garden (15)
1974   Absent Friends (16)
1974   Confusions (17)
1975   Jeeves / By Jeeves (18)
1975   Bedroom Farce (19)
1976   Just Between Ourselves (20)
1977   Ten Times Table (21)
1978   Joking Apart (22)
1979   Sisterly Feelings (23)
1979   Taking Steps (24)
1980   Suburban Strains (25)
1980   Season’s Greetings (26)
1981   Way Upstream (27)
1981   Making Tracks (28)
1982   Intimate Exchanges (29)
1983   It Could Be Any One Of Us (30)

1984   A Chorus Of Disapproval (31)
1985   Woman In Mind (32)
1987   A Small Family Business (33)
1987   Henceforward... (34) 
1988   Man Of The Moment (35)
1988   Mr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays (36)
1989   The Revengers’ Comedies (37)
1989   Invisible Friends (38)
1990   Body Language (39)
1990   This Is Where We Came In (40) 
1990   Callisto 5 / Callisto#7 (41) 
1991   Wildest Dreams (42)
1991   My Very Own Story (43)
1992   Time Of My Life (44)
1992   Dreams From A Summer House (45)
1994   Communicating Doors (46)
1994   Haunting Julia (47)
1994   The Musical Jigsaw Play (48)
1995   A Word From Our Sponsor (49)
1996   The Champion Of Paribanou (50)
1997   Things We Do For Love (51)
1998   Comic Potential (52)
1998   The Boy Who Fell Into A Book (53)
1999   House (54)

1999   Garden (55)
2000   Virtual Reality (56)
2000   Whenever (57)
2001   GamePlan (58)
2001   FlatSpin (59)
2001   RolePlay (60)
2002   Snake In The Grass (61)
2002   The Jollies (62)
2003   Sugar Daddies (63)
2003   Orvin - Champion Of Champions (64)
2003   My Sister Sadie (65) 
2004   Drowning On Dry Land (66)
2004   Private Fears In Public Places (67)
2004   Miss Yesterday (68)
2005   Improbable Fiction (69)
2006   If I Were You (70)
2008   Life & Beth (71)
2008   Awaking Beauty (72)
2009   My Wonderful Day (73)
2010   Life Of Riley (74)
2011   Neighbourhood Watch (75)
2012   Surprises (76)
2013   Arrivals & Departures (77)
2014   Roundelay (78)
2015   Hero’s Welcome (79)
2016   Consuming Passions (80)

Of course, an official list often raises even more frequently asked questions, many of which you can find answered at Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website in the FAQs section by clicking here.
But if you're wondering why this year's plays are - or are not - in the list. Here's the quick answer. The Karaoke Theatre Company is not considered by the playwright to be one of his full-length plays because so much of the script is improvised on a nightly basis. The playwright estimates that at least half of the play may differ on any one night, which means there can never be a definitive text for the whole piece, only a guide.
As for Consuming Passions, the playwright considers this to be his 80th play. Although having two named parts - initially presented separately but now being performed together - it follows in the footsteps of The Revengers' Comedies in being considered a single play in two parts which can be performed separately or preferably together in which one continuous narrative is told in one space (as opposed to, say, House & Garden, which consists of two plays designed to be performed in two different spaces simultaneously with each other).
You can find a full index of everything Alan Ayckbourn has written at his official website by clicking here, from which list you can click on a title to find further details of every work created by the playwright since he began writing.
If you're still having trouble reconciling why a play may or may not be in the official list or why it's listed the way it is, it's probably best to heed the playwright's own advice at the start of this article and ask yourself, does it really matter anyway?
Just enjoy the plays.

Alan Ayckbourn's Karaoke Theatre Company and Consuming Passions can be seen in repertory at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until 8 October. Visit for more details and to book tickets.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Alan Ayckbourn's Henceforward... Tour

Alan Ayckbourn's first significant UK revival of his classic play Henceforward... will be touring later this year and next.
The play, which is currently running at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough until 8 October, will subsequently tour to Newcastle-under-Lyme and Bowness-on-Windermere..
Henceforward... premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round in 1987 before going on to an award-winning production at the Vaudeville Theatre in London starring Ian McKellen and Jane Asher.
The play's current revival at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and tour sees Alan Ayckbourn directing Bill Champion, Jacqueline King, Russell Dixon, Laura Matthews and Jessie Hart.
The production will tour in-the-round to the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, where it will play in repertory with his new work The Karaoke Theatre Company, from 11 - 29 October. (click here).
Henceforward... will then go to The Old Laundry in Bowness-on-Windermere from 1 - 12 November (click here).
Following a break, the production will then tour to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from 19 - 28 January 2017, again directed by Alan Ayckbourn (click here). Further end-stage tour dates are expected to follow.
Henceforward..., directed by Alan Ayckbourn, can now be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until 8 October and further details can be found here. It is playing in repertory with his latest play Consuming Passions and the new work The Karaoke Theatre Company until that date.