The Revengers' Comedies (1989)
In 1989 Alan Ayckbourn celebrated his 50th birthday with his epic two-part play The Revengers' Comedies. He dubbed it as a birthday present, whilst later admitting he didn't know who to as it was such a technical nightmare to stage!
The play generated much interest in the press and this week's delve into the archive takes a look at some of the press coverage the play generated.
|Copyright: Scarborough Evening News|
|Copyright: Northern Echo|
Even more so was the review which praised the play, the company, the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round as well as Alan Ayckbourn's achievements (it's worth noting that The Revengers' Comedies marked the point Alan had written the same number of plays as Shakespeare).
One of the apparent unexpected benefits of the review was an upsurge in visitors from North America to the theatre. Who must have very much appreciated one of the most pointless additions to the story with the note of the "tiny but air-conditioned" theatre. As a former journalist, I'm not sure what the relevance of air-conditioning to the story is!
|Copyright: The Stage|
Tick is the triumphant culmination of Karen Knightly's desire to rise in the company Lembridge Tennit as she murders her way to the top. The belching, groping and 'repellent' manager driven to a heart-attack by Karen's machinations.
The character is so vividly drawn, several newspapers picked up the story of whether he was based on someone specific - one would hope not given his very dubious character! Whilst Alan has admitted several characters during his writing career have been influenced and possibly inspired by actual encounters, none - as far as this author is aware - is specifically based on a single person.
However, this did not stop The Stage getting a good story from it regarding the theatre's press officer Russ Allen, who had left the company in December 1988 (and it must be pointed out did not have quite so much experience with Alan as the report suggests, as his tenure coincided with Alan's being on a two year sabbatical from Scarborough at the National Theatre starting just prior to Alan's departure and leaving soon after his return to Scarborough).
The Revengers' Comedies opened at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round on 13 June 1989 and was directed by Alan Ayckbourn. More details about the play can be found here.
If you'd like to meet Alan Ayckbourn, join him in rehearsals for his latest play and get the chance to put your own questions to him, click here to find out about the Premier Patrons week at the Stephen Joseph Theatre from 27 June to 2 July.