Alan Ayckbourn: News

Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition launched
Update (20/8): Just 19 copies left!
To mark Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday and 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut, a special limited edition of Simon Murgatroyd's Unseen Ayckbourn has been published. The new edition has been updated for 2019 and includes new and expanded entries, extracts and quotes from the playwright alongside a new essay on the significance of the playwright and his writing. The book explores Alan Ayckbourn's lost, withdrawn and unpublished plays alongside abandoned ideas, alternative titles, variations of plays and other ephemera from the playwright's childhood through to 2019. Unseen Ayckbourn was named as one of The Stage's best theatre books of 2013. The exclusive edition is limited to just 50 copies and is only available via this and the author's websites.
Website: Unseen Ayckbourn

The first Alan Ayckbourn Film Festival announced

As part of Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday celebrations, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough will be launching the first Alan Ayckbourn film festival from 20 - 22 September. The three days will see what are believed to the cinema premieres of two classic BBC adaptations - Absent Friends and Absurd Person Singular - as well as rare screenings of Alain Resnais's award-winning films, Smoking / No Smoking and Private Fears in Public Places. Tickets are on sale now and further details can be found via the SJT website.

Alan Ayckbourn's first novel to be published
12 September will see the publication launch of Alan Ayckbourn's first novel, The Divide, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Although it has been adapted for the stage (although not by the playwright himself), The Divide was conceived and always intended to be published as a novel. This September, PS Publishing will present The Divide as Alan Ayckbourn always hoped. "I’ve just put The Divide back as it belongs as a novel. Its going to be published this year and I'm very excited, I have a publisher and I have a launch date in September. My first novel.". The launch event will be free and take place in the bar area at the SJT. Alan Ayckbourn will be talking about the book with excerpts being read. Copies of the hardback will be available to buy and be signed by the playwright - more details soon.

Absurd Person Singular
returns to New York this Christmas
Alan Ayckbourn’s most successful Broadway play Absurd Person Singular returns to New York this Christmas.
The classic comedy, which broke Broadway records in 1976, is coming to Theatre Row, 42nd Street, from 11 to 29 December in a revival by Dick & Lottie theatre company which has performed more than 40 of Ayckbourn's plays in the past 15 years.
Absurd Person Singular can be seen at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, from 11 to 29 December. Tickets are priced $72.25 and can be booked via, or from the box office.
Website: Dick & Lottie @ / Dick & Lottie

World premiere and classic revival this summer at the Stephen Joseph Theatre
Alan Ayckbourn will direct the world premiere of his new play, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present and a revival of Season's Greetings at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, this summer. Season's Greetings is now in repertory until 28 September and Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present will be in repertory from 4 September to 5 October. The plays will also tour to the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme, from 8 - 26 October and the Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere, from 4 - 16 November.
Website: Stephen Joseph Theatre

Dear Uncle at the Theatre by the Lake
Dear Uncle, Alan Ayckbourn's adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, is being produced for the first time since its world premiere in 2012 at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, this summer. The plays action is relocated to the Lake District during the 1930s making this the perfect venue to see Alan's adaptation of a play by his favourite playwright. Dear Uncle is directed by Tom Littler and can be seen in rep from 1 August to 2 November.
Website: Theatre by the Lake

80 Years Young with Alan Ayckbourn
The Stephen Joseph Theatre will be celebrating Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday with a special event on Sunday 29 September at 6pm. 80 Years Young will see Alan Ayckbourn and special guests take a tour through his family plays over the decades from acclaimed pieces such as Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays and Invisible Friends to long withdrawn plays such as Dad's Tale. Standard and VIP tickets - which include a programme signed by Alan and an invite to the post show reception - are available from 1 March.
Website: Stephen Joseph Theatre

Salisbury Playhouse goes Round for Relatively Speaking
Alan Ayckbourn's classic comedy Relatively Speaking is coming to Salisbury Playhouse this autumn with a completely new look for the theatre. The main house is being converted into an in-the-round space to produce Relatively Speaking in the staging it was conceived for - like the majority of Alan Ayckbourn's plays. The production is being directed by Jo Newman with James Button designing and can be seen from 4 - 28 September.
Website: Salisbury Playhouse

Towards Ayckbournia In Germany published
A 'Festschrift' celebrating Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday has been published in Germany. Towards Ayckbournia in Germany has been edited by Ayckbourn expert Albert-Reiner Glaap and features a contribution by Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd. It offers a brief exploration of Ayckbourn's work in his home town of Scarborough and in Germany. It is priced at €15 and is published by Wissenscftlicher Verlag Trier.

"It's time to recognise the genius of Alan Ayckbourn?"
A fascinating article celebrating the 80th anniversary of Alan Ayckbourn, written by Dominic Cavendish, was published in the Daily Telegraph on 27 March 2019. It advocates greater recognition for the playwright and his work and can be seen here (please note, behind Firewall).
Website: Daily Telegraph

Advocates section launched
As part of the 80th birthday celebrations of Alan Ayckbourn, the website has launched an Advocates section compiling quotes from actors, directors, writers and people who have been influenced by or worked with him to celebrate his life and career. This will be an ongoing project for the website.
Website: Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website

2019: Alan Ayckbourn's 80th Birthday & 60th Anniversary
2019 will mark a number of significant anniversaries for Alan Ayckbourn. The playwright will be celebrating his 80th birthday in April. On July 30, it will be 60 years since the world premiere of his first play, The Square Cat, and his classic play, How The Other Half Loves, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 31 July. Further details of the anniversaries and any accompanying events can be found on the Ayckbourn At 80 page.
Website: Ayckbourn At 80

Dick & Lottie: Forthcoming Productions (2019)
Dick & Lottie - the UK's only company dedicated exclusively to Alan Ayckbourn's plays - will be presenting the Damsels In Distress trilogy during 2019. The trilogy of GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay will be performed on 28 September at the The Square Chapel, Halifax. The 50th anniversary of How The Other Half Loves will be celebrated from 5 - 9 November at the Lawrence Batley Theatre before the company makes its New York debut with Absurd Person Singular at Theatre Row (42nd Street) from 11 - 29 December.

New Ayckbourn Acting Editions Published
Seven new acting editions off Alan Ayckbourn plays have been published including several never previously published. Samuel French has now published Arrivals & Departures, Farcicals, Haunting Julia, Hero's Welcome, Private Fears In Public Places, Roundelay and Sugar Daddies. Farcicals and Roundelay have never been published before whilst Sugar Daddies has a never published revised ending and Private Fears In Public Fears has a significant correction from the version previously published in Plays 3 by Faber. All the plays are available to order from the website Store.
Website: The Ayckbourn Store

Alan Ayckbourn: BBC Radio Drama Producer
A new section has been added with extensive details of Alan Ayckbourn's as a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC between 1965 to 1970 when he directed more than 100 plays for the radio. Details of this neglected area of his professional career can now be found here.
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Now Showing / Coming Soon

Until 28 September: Season's Greetings *
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Until 2 November: Dear Uncle
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
4 September - 5 October: Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present *
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
12 September: The Divide publication launch
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
20 - 22 September: Ayckbourn Film Festival
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
29 September: 80 Years Young
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
September: The Divide
To be published by PS Publishing
* Directed by Alan Ayckbourn

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Site Updates

22/08: Advocates updated
Chronology: 2019 updated
1970 season overview added to The SJT: Plays
Interviews 2010s updated
Christmas V Mastermind updated
Unseen Ayckbourn updated
The Norman Conquests updated
Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present updated
Careers: Director updated
Careers: Actor updated
The Victoria Theatre updated
The SJT updated

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