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Famous Like Me > Writer > A > Alan Ayckbourn

Profile of Alan Ayckbourn on Famous Like Me

Name: Alan Ayckbourn  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 12th April 1939
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Alan Ayckbourn (born April 12, 1939) is a popular and prolific English playwright.


Ayckbourn was born in London and wrote his first play at prep school when he was about 10. At Haileybury, he toured Europe and America with the school Shakespeare. He left school at 17 to go straight into the theatre with an introduction to Sir Donald Wolfit by his French master. Ayckbourn joined Wolfit on tour as an assistant stage manager and actor.

By 1957, Ayckbourn was acting with director Stephen Joseph at Scarborough. In 1959 he played Stanley in the second production of writer-director Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party.

Ayckbourn has written and produced some sixty plays in Scarborough and London and is the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Almost all of his plays receive their first performance at this theatre. More than 25 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1967.

Major successes include Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests trilogy, Bedroom Farce, Just Between Ourselves, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Woman In Mind, A Small Family Business, Man Of The Moment and House & Garden. His plays have won numerous awards, including seven London Evening Standard Awards. They have been translated into over 30 languages and are performed on stage and television throughout the world.

Ayckbourn plays have also been filmed in French and English. Four of his plays have been seen on Broadway attracting two Tony nominations. In 1991, he received a Dramalogue Critics Award for his play Henceforward....

Although his plays have received major West End productions almost from the beginning of his writing career, and hence have been reviewed in British newspapers, Ayckbourn's work was for years routinely dismissed as being too slight for serious study. Recently scholars have begun to view Ayckbourn as an important commentator on the lifestyles of the British suburban middle class and as a stylistic innovator, experimenting with theatrical styles within the boundaries set by popular tastes.


1956–57 Stage manager and actor, Donald Wolfit's company, in Edinburgh, Worthing, Leatherhead, Scarborough, and Oxford
1957–62 Actor and stage manager, Stephen Joseph Theatre-in-the-Round, Scarborough, Yorkshire
1962–64 Associate director, Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
1964–70 Drama producer, BBC Radio, Leeds
1970— Artistic director, Stephen Joseph Theatre-in-the-Round
1986–88 Associate director, National Theatre, London
1991–92 Professor of contemporary theatre, Oxford University


Evening Standard award, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990
Olivier award, 1985
Plays and Players award, 1987
D.Litt.: University of Hull, Yorkshire, 1981
D.Litt.: University of Keele, Staffordshire, 1987
D.Litt.: University of Leeds, 1987
C.B.E. (Commander, Order of the British Empire), 1987


* indicates retitled

1959 The Square Cat
1959 Love After All
1960 Dad's Tale
1961 Standing Room Only
1962 Christmas V Mastermind
1963 Mr Whatnot
1965 Meet My Father *Relatively Speaking
1967 The Sparrow
1969 How The Other Half Loves
1970 The Story So Far... *Me Times Me Times Me *Family Circles
1971 Time And Time Again
1972 Absurd Person Singular
1973 Fancy Meeting You *Table Manners (Norman Conquests)
1973 Make Yourself At Home *Living Together (Norman Conquests)
1973 Round And Round The Garden (Norman Conquests)
1974 Absent Friends
1974 Confusions
1975 Jeeves (re-written 1996 as By Jeeves)
1975 Bedroom Farce
1976 Just Between Ourselves
1977 Ten Times Table
1978 Joking Apart
1979 Sisterly Feelings
1979 Taking Steps
1980 Suburban Strains
1980 Season's Greetings
1981 Way Upstream
1981 Making Tracks
1982 Intimate Exchanges Consisting Of 8 Plays
1983 It Could Be Any One Of Us
1984 A Chorus Of Disapproval
1985 Woman In Mind
1987 A Small Family Business
1987 Henceforward...
1988 Man Of The Moment
1988 Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays
1989 The Revengers' Comedies
1989 Invisible Friends
1990 Body Language
1990 This Is Where We Came In
1990 Callisto 5 (re-written in 1999 as Callisto 7)
1991 Wildest Dreams
1991 My Very Own Story
1992 Time Of My Life
1992 Dreams From A Summer House
1994 Communicating Doors
1994 Haunting Julia
1994 The Musical Jigsaw Play
1995 A Word From Our Sponsor
1996 The Champion Of Paribanou
1997 Things We Do For Love
1998 Comic Potential
1998 The Boy Who Fell Into A Book
1999 House (House & Garden)
1999 Garden (House & Garden)
2000 Virtual Reality
2000 Whenever
2001 Gameplan (Damsels In Distress)
2001 Flatspin (Damsels In Distress)
2001 Roleplay (Damsels In Distress)
2002 Snake In The Grass
2003 My Sister Sadie
2004 Drowning on Dry Land
2004 Private Fears in Public Places
2005 Improbable Fiction

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alan Ayckbourn