Alan Ayckbourn: Resources

This page contains resources pertaining to the life, career and plays of Sir Alan Ayckbourn. They are available for research and reproduction - providing the conditions below are followed.

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Alan Ayckbourn: Overview

Alan Ayckbourn was born on 12 April, 1939, in Hampstead.

He began his professional theatre career in 1956 as an actor and joined the Library Theatre, Scarborough (now the Stephen Joseph Theatre) in 1957. With the encouragement of his mentor and theatre pioneer, Stephen Joseph, Alan made his professional writing debut at the Library Theatre on 30 July 1959 with The Square Cat. In 1961, he would make his professional directing debut at the Library Theatre with Patrick F. Hamilton's Gaslight.

As of 2023, Alan Ayckbourn has written 89 full-length plays and numerous other works during his 60 years as a professional playwright. His debut novel, The Divide, was published in 2019.

In 1972, he became the Artistic Director of the Library Theatre and was responsible for moving the company to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round (1976) and for the conversion of Scarborough's former Odeon cinema into the present home of the company, the Stephen Joseph Theatre (1996). He retired from the post, after 37 years, in 2009. In 2018, he was appointed Director Emeritus of the SJT.

He is an Olivier, Tony and Molière Award winning writer and director who is the only playwright to have been recognised with both the Olivier and Tony Special Awards. In 1996, he was knighted 'for services to theatre.'
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