Damsels In Distress
|Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust (to be confirmed)|
The photograph - sadly not of the greatest quality - is the earliest image held in archive of the Damsels In Distress company which would be the first Scarborough company to entirely transfer into the West End.* It features Alan Ayckbourn (centre) and (left to right) Alison Pargeter, Saskia Butler, Beth Tuckey, Bill Champion, Tim Faraday, Jacqueline King and Robert Austin.
When the photograph was taken though, GamePlan was just one part of a duology alongside FlatSpin and there were no grand intentions for the plays other than a tour. However, during rehearsals for FlatSpin, Alan Ayckbourn announced he had an idea for a third play, RolePlay - utilising the same company and set as GamePlan and FlatSpin if the company were interested.
At this point, the Damsels In Distress trilogy was born which proved to be a huge success in Scarborough with audiences and critics. This response - and the productions are still fondly remembered in Scarborough - led to Alan Ayckbourn taking his Scarborough company to the West End with the trilogy opening at the Duchess Theatre in September 2002.
* To be strictly accurate, Robin Herford and Lavinia Bertram did take the two-hander Intimate Exchanges into London from Scarborough in 1983; but Damsels in Distress was the first time a substantially sized company had transferred en masse to the West End.