Alan Ayckbourn: Title FAQs

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions regarding the official play list and its compilation such as play titles, numbering, what is an isn't canon and other questions. For other FAQs regarding Alan Ayckbourn and his plays, visit the FAQs section in Life & Career.
What is the official play-list / play canon?
The definitive play list are full-length plays by Alan Ayckbourn which he considered his official play canon. There are numerous other works (organised into other groupings) but there are not considered part of the official play canon.

How many plays are in the official play canon?
As of 2020, there are 84 plays in the official play canon. A numbered list of plays can be found here.

What are the other categories of plays?
The other Categories are: Adaptations (adaptations of existing plays); One Act and Short Works; Revues (musical revues); Plays for Children and Young People (generally pre-school plays); Screenplays (scrips for TV or film); the Grey Plays (withdrawn and unpublished short plays which have been performed but are no longer available); Early Writing (plays written prior to his first professional commission in 1959); Contributions (plays and works which Alan Ayckbourn has contributed material to); Unproduced Plays (complete full-length works which have never been produced); Other Works (miscellaneous plays).

What are the Trilogies?
Alan Ayckbourn has written two trilogies: The Norman Conquests (consisting of Table Manners, Living Together and Round And Round The Garden) and Damsels In Distress (consisting of GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay). Each of these plays is individually numbered pin the play list.

What are the duologies?
Akan Ayckbourn has written one duology, House & Garden. Although The Revenger's Comedies and Consuming Passions can be presented in two separate parts, he considers these single plays.

Why are Intimate Exchanges and Sisterly Feelings only counted as one play each, despite having different permutations?
These plays start with a common scene before branching out into different permutations. Because they both start with a common first scene, Alan Ayckbourn considers them single plays.

Why aren't the plays lists numbered all the time?
Alan Ayckbourn dislikes the numbering of his plays as, having been so prolific, he feels the focus is occasionally on the number rather than the quality of the plays. As a result, he prefers not to focus on how many plays he's written. Given other prolific writers also don't tend to have their work numbered, he also wonders why he should be singled out!

What is the difference between 'Family Plays' and 'Plays for Children and Young People?
Within the official play canon, there are a number of full-length plays which Alan considered 'Family Plays'. These are plays whose subject may appeal to a younger audience but which are intended for everyone to enjoy - much as Alan's 'adult' plays can be also enjoyed by young people. The 'Plays for Children and Young People' are generally short plays either written for pre-school audiences or with the intention of being performed by young people.

What are the Grey Plays?
The Grey Plays are short works which Alan Ayckbourn has written and which have been performed in some capacity, but which have not been published and have been withdrawn and are unavailable to produce again. They are not considered part of the official play canon.

Why is Jeeves / By Jeeves not considered an 'adaptation'?
The ''adaptations' are existing plays which have been adapted by Alan Ayckbourn but which remain faithful to the original material. Jeeves is not an adaptation of any specific P.G. Wodehouse novel, it is an original piece featuring Wodehouse's characters and is thus not considered an adaptation.

Why are By Jeeves and Callisto#7 not separately numbered?
They are both revisions or refinements of existing works and to illustrate this, they have new titles but are essentially considered to be versions of the original play and thus retain the same number.

Who should I contact if I have further queries about the play lists / play titles?
Please contact Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, on admin@alanayckbourn.net.
All research in this section is by Simon Murgatroyd and should be credited if reproduced.