Alan Ayckbourn: Contributions

In addition to his own extensive body of work, Alan Ayckbourn has also contributed to other works - from providing short plays to song lyrics. This page contains details about his contribution to Scarborough's Millennium attraction.


In May 1993, a major tourist attraction opened in Alan Ayckbourn’s adopted home town called the Scarborough Millennium. Created to mark the town’s 1,000 year anniversary, it featured recreations of places and scenes from throughout Scarborough’s history, each of which was manned by a character from the period. Alan Ayckbourn was asked to contribute to the attraction and wrote a short script for each of these actors, which formed the basis for their semi-improvised interaction with the public.

Each character had a single page of dialogue for a short scene, offering an informative guide to Scarborough in that period, which could then be used as a basis for improvisation. The characters were a young Viking woman, a servant at Scarborough Castle at the time of King Richard the Lionheart’s reign, a man at St Mary’s Church during the Civil War and a Victorian Lady clad in wet undergarments at Scarborough Spa.

The Millennium attraction closed in 2002, although the use of Alan’s scripts had ended some time previously as financial difficulties had seen the use of actors in the scenes steadily decrease over the years.

Servant: Every single morning the Queen has to be sewn into her clothes and every evening she has to be unsewn. What about that, then? Did you ever hear anything like it? When I was a lad we never had any of that. Twice a year, that’s all. My mum used to sew us in come October and unstitch us in April. Never did us any harm.

This page is reproduced from the book Unseen Ayckbourn by Simon Murgatroyd.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.