Alan Ayckbourn

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Plays by Alan Ayckbourn

The Boy Who Fell into a Book

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Rockfist Slim's enemies have just plunged him into yet another desperate situation when Kevin has to close his detective book and go to sleep. But his own adventure is only just beginning. Fast-moving, fun and full of special effects, Ayckbourn's wonderfully inventive play for children brings alive several well-known children's books as Kevin and Rockfist Slim escape the baddies and plunge into many different worlds.

The Boy Who Fell into a Book premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in December 1998.

The Champion of Paribanou

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

A sultan seeks lasting peace by marrying off one of his three sons to the princess of a neighbouring kingdom. The princes aren’t happy with their father’s scheme, so they hatch a plan to delay the wedding. They set out on a quest which they claim is to ‘prove their love’. Their disappearance upsets the real love of the youngest prince, who believes she has been betrayed. When her heatbreak leads her into the influence of evil powers, the prince must learn to fight for his family and friends.

Loosely inspired by the Arabian Nights' tale of the Flying Carpet, The Champion of Paribanou premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in November 1996.

Communicating Doors

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

How Ms Poopay Dayseer, a twenty-first century Specialist Sexual Consultant, whilst peddling her ‘services’ to an elderly hotel room client unexpectedly finds herself running for her life. How her flight through a communicating door brings her face to face with her own past and with Ruella who apparently died under suspicious circumstances twenty years earlier. And how Poopay’s gradual friendship with that remarkable woman changes the future for both of them…

A time-travelling comedy thriller, Communicating Doors was published to coincide with the West End opening in 1995.

Ernie's Incredible Illucinations

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Ernie’s incredible imagination is alarming his parents. They go to the doctor in search of a cure. Once they’re there, they discover Ernie’s ‘illucinations’ are more powerful than they realised. Everything Ernie imagines – from secret agents to a boxing granny – becomes real.

Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations was first performed at the Unicorn Theatre For Children, London, in September 1971.

© Alan Ayckbourn, 1969

Garden

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Revengers' Comedies

A hugely entertaining pitch that recalls the old movies to which it frequently pays homage - Strangers on a Train, Rebecca, Kind Hearts and Coronets - and expands after intermission to reveal an immensely disturbing vision of contemporary middle-class England poisoned by the rise of economic ruthlessness and the collapse of ethics. New York Times

Things We Do for Love

Lloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year Award

One of his best, his most shockingly and uproariously funny: a cruel and hilarious masterpiece of tragic comedy and comic tragedy. Sunday Times

House & Garden

The triumph of his ingenuity lies in the fact that you have to see both plays . A second time round, in whichever order you take them, characters will deepen, while those you know become the background. It is a superb Ayckbourn joke that a comedy about non-communication should depend on the sharpest communication skills. Sunday Times

audio Henceforward...

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Starring Anne Heche and Jared Harris, the hilarious Henceforward... is one of Alan Ayckbourn’s most unusual works. In the near-future, a composer with creative block tries to re-unite with his estranged wife and daughter, hoping their reconciliation will free his mind to create his greatest musical masterpiece. But his own erratic impulses hinder his journey to creative freedom.

Includes a interview with playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

Jared Harris as Jerome

Anne Heche as Nan (in Act I) and Corrina

Jack Davenport as Mervyn

Paula Jane Newman as Geain

Moira Quirk as Zoe and Nan (in Act II)

Darren Richardson as Lupus

Directed by Martin Jarvis. Recorded at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

Featuring: Jack Davenport, Jared Harris, Anne Heche, Paula Jane Newman, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson

House

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

House & Garden

The triumph of his ingenuity lies in the fact that you have to see both plays . A second time round, in whichever order you take them, characters will deepen, while those you know become the background. It is a superb Ayckbourn joke that a comedy about non-communication should depend on the sharpest communication skills. Sunday Times

If I Were You

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

‘A blissfully funny comedy that’s also filled with sadness, a devilishly simple theatrical idea that spins out all kinds of complex truths about human nature.’ Daily Telegraph

If I Were You was first performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in October 2006.

Invisible Friends

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Teenage Lucy’s family is too busy to pay her attention, so she decides to revive Zara, her imaginary childhood friend. This time, however, Zara really comes to life materialises, bringing with her a replacement father and brother. Lucy is about to learn you have to be care what you wish for. Even fantasy familes aren’t perfect, after all.

Invisible Friends premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in November 1989.

© Haydonning Ltd, 1991

audio Just Between Ourselves

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

The first of Ayckbourn’s darkly comic masterpieces involves a relentlessly cheerful handyman in a disastrously fractured marriage. Two couples develop an unlikely friendship in this painfully funny portrait of British suburban life.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

Gia Carides as Pam

Kenneth Danziger as Dennis

Judy Geeson as Vera

Miriam Margolyes as Marjorie

Alfred Molina as Neil

Directed by Waris Hussein. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Gia Carides, Kenneth Danziger, Judy Geeson, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina

Picture of Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn was born in London in 1939 to a violinist father and a mother who was a writer. He left school at seventeen with two 'A' levels and went straight into the theatre. Two years in regional theatre as an actor and stage manager led in 1959 to the writing of his first play, The Square Cat, for Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the instigation of his then employer and subsequent mentor, Stephen Joseph. Some 75 plays later, his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards. There have been English and French screen adaptations, the most notable being Alain Resnais' fine film of Private Fears in Public Places. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Norman Conquests, A Small Family Business, Henceforward . . ., Comic Potential, Things We Do For Love, and Life of Riley. Surprises was first presented at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and subsequently at the the Minerva Theatre, Chichester in 2012. In 2009, he retired as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where almost all his plays have been and continue to be first staged, after 37 years in the post. Knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre, he received the 2010 Critics' Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards.