By Michael Billington (auth.)
This publication reviews the performs by means of Alan Ayckbourn and incorporates a biography, a survey of the performs and specific research of the main major performs, besides dialogue, the place suitable, in their political, social, historic and theatrical context.
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Additional resources for Alan Ayckbourn
It began its life at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in August 1970 as The Story So Far. It started a pre-London tour in August 1971 under the direction of Robin Midgley. It had a second preLondon tour in March 1972 in a revised version under the title of Me Times Me Times Me directed by Basil Coleman. Finally it made it, in a very funny production by Sam Walters, to the Orange Tree, Richmond, in November 1978 under the title of Family Circles. Reviewing it then, I described it as 'not one of Ayckbourn's best plays but one of his most fascinating'.
Ayckbourn stayed six years with the BBC and during that time he wrote six plays, beginning with Meet My Father which Stephen Joseph commissioned for the Scarborough summer season in 1965. As Ayckbourn himself says in his published introduction to the piece: 'Stephen asked me simply for a play which would make people laugh when their seaside summer holidays were spoiled by the rain and they came into the theatre to get dry before trudging back to their landladies. This seemed to me as worthwhile a reason for writing a playas any so 1 tried to comply'.
I was wrong. Indeed we were all wrong. Because Ayckbourn relied on time-honoured comic devices such as sustained misunderstanding (Relatively Speaking), because he rewrote the geography of stage comedy (How The Other 47 Alan Ayckbourn Half Loves), we all assumed that he was simply an ingenious manipulator and a skilful comic carpenter with nothing much to say. But a sustained look at his work between 1965 and 1970 shows that he had a number of thematic bees buzzing around his brain: marriage as a form of mutual incomprehension, as a means of colonising third parties, as an institution that subtly varies according to class and the temperament of the partner, plus the notion that well-meaning interference inevitably leads to disaster.
Alan Ayckbourn by Michael Billington (auth.)