Alan Ayckbourn

Plays by Alan Ayckbourn

Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Suzy lives in a cottage with her mother and her dog Neville (her father took off in a balloon one day and hasn't come down since). Into the big house opposite moves the suave but (though Suzy's mother doesn't see it) sinister Mr Accousticus. When Neville suddenly loses his bark Suzy is certain Mr Accousticus has something to do with it. Together she and the dog start to search the house... Through the ingenious stagecraft of Mr A, what happens next is up to the audience (or the reader). The result is magnificent entertainment for children of all ages up to eighty (and their grandparents).

Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays premiered in November 1988 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough, and was subsequently staged at the National Theatre, London, in 1993.

My Sister Sadie

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Luke and his mother Avril eke out their existence tending to their run-down, isolated farm in a remote part of England. They both miss Luke's sister June so much and would give anything in the world to have her back with them, alive and well again. But life can be harsh and these days we can rarely hope for miracles.

Until one day the miracle happens. Out of the sky one night drops a brand new, full-grown, large-as-life sister - the answer to all their prayers. Or is she? For who exactly is Sadie, and where did she come from? Is she all she appears to be? And if so, why are so many mysterious people determined to find her?

An exciting, funny, tender tale of a family whose lives are changed forever by the strangest of strangers.

My Sister Sadie premiered Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in December 2003.

My Very Own Story

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Peter, Paul and Percy are three storytellers who have been triple booked for the same event. In a competitive display of storytelling, a Victorian yarn, a romance and a magical tale get interwoven to a remarkably upbeat end.

My Very Own Story premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in May 1991.

My Wonderful Day

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

‘A transformation happens as magical as the most magnificent pantomime transformation anyone could ever imagine… the playwright dissolves the paraphernalia of our adult selves and uncovers that space inside each of us that is still the child we once were.’ Observer

My Wonderful Day was first performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in October 2009.

Neighbourhood Watch  

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

An innocent mistake on an estate leads to an alarming escalation of events as the residents of Bluebell Hill Development takes extreme measures to protect themselves.

Neighbourhood Watch premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in September 2011.

audio The Norman Conquests

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Ayckbourn’s celebrated trilogy The Norman Conquests - three hilarious and poignant plays depicting the same six characters in one house over one weekend, namely Norman and his romantic follies.

Table Manners: England’s famous seducer of other men’s wives lays siege to his sister-in-law in the first “battle”. A middle-class family trying to have a pleasant country weekend is no match for Norman, who horrifies everyone by doing exactly as he likes. Living Together: In the second “battle” Norman gets drunk on homemade wine – and all hell breaks loose. He unleashes his merry brand of manipulative charm on the hapless guests and even his most formidable opponents go down in defeat on the drawing room rug. Round and Round the Garden: In the third “battle” the setting is Mother’s overgrown English garden, where something more troublesome than brambles lurks among the roses. Havoc ensues as this satirical masterpiece makes its way to a hilarious conclusion. L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performances featuring: Rosalind Ayres as Sarah Kenneth Danziger as Reg Martin Jarvis as Norman Jane Leeves as Annie Christopher Neame as Tom Carolyn Seymour as Ruth

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Kenneth Danziger, Martin Jarvis, Jane Leeves, Christopher Neame, Carolyn Seymour

Orvin - Champion of Champions

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The chorus of gods set out to relate the tale of the Great Ulmar, legendary warrior and champion of Sollistis. But their narrative suffers a major technical hitch when Orvin, Ulmar's hopeless squire, oversleeps on the eve of battle. What follows proves a challenge even to such seasoned storytellers as the gods themselves as they vainly attempt to re-write history with only the help of Orvin, the unlikeliest, most reluctant of last minute replacement champions.

With a cast of 40, this is the perfect entertainment for those in search of musical fun, thrills and spectacle.

Written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, with music composed by Denis King, Orvin - Champion of Champions was first co-produced by the Stephen Joseph Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre and presented at the SJT, Scarborough in August 2003.

The Revengers' Comedies

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Two people meet on London's Albert Bridge at midnight, both preparing to jump off. Henry Bell has just been ousted from his job by a thrusting corporate executive; Karen Knightly has lost her farmer-lover to his scheming rustic wife. They decide that revenge is sweeter than suicide, but it is Karen who declares that she will see to Henry's oppressor if he will take care of hers. The situation results in rich, black, vintage Ayckbourn comedy.

The Revengers' Comedies was first performed in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in June 1989.

audio Round and Round the Garden

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

The third “battle” of Ayckbourn’s celebrated trilogy The Norman Conquests, returns us to the same weekend in the country, but this time to the setting of Mother’s overgrown English country garden. Something more troublesome than brambles is lurking among the roses. Havoc ensues among the flora and fauna, as this cynical masterpiece makes its way to a hilarious conclusion.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Rosalind Ayres as Sarah, Kenneth Danziger as Reg, Martin Jarvis as Norman, Jane Leeves as Annie, Christopher Neame as Tom, and Carolyn Seymour as Ruth.

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Kenneth Danziger, Martin Jarvis, Jane Leeves, Christopher Neame, Carolyn Seymour

Season's Greetings

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Now we don't want to start Christmas like this, do we?

Cheating at snakes and ladders, fighting over comic books, a bungled infidelity beneath the tree. Christmas has arrived in the Bunker household along with family and friends. But as the children lurk just out of sight, it's the adults who are letting the side down.

Presiding over the festivities are two warring uncles, one a kindly, incompetent doctor with an interminable puppet show to perform; the other a bullying retired security guard who dominates the TV, brings toy guns for his nieces and determines there's a thief in their midst.

Season's Greetings was first performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough, in 1980.

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.