Alan Ayckbourn: Staging Plays FAQs

This page contains frequently asked questions regarding staging Alan Ayckbourn's plays. If you have a question not covered by this page, please email: or use the Contact Us page form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I alter the script?
No changes of any kind may be made without the permission of the author and this is a condition of the licence. This includes changing the sex of characters, altering historically specific dialogue and cutting out 'bad' language.
If you feel you have a case to alter the script, contact the licensing agent. Whilst it is unlikely to be granted, the playwright is not adverse to hearing persuasive and strong cases.

Can I change the gender of characters?
No. The playwright does not endorse this in any form and doing so without permission will break the performance license. The author has yet to have seen any argument that would necessitate such a significant change in the plays.

I'd like to add characters to a play - such as children to Season's Greetings - is this acceptable?
No. If you add characters to the play, you will be considered to be altering the script which the performance license forbids. The author can see no justifiable reason to expand the number of characters - particularly as they would not have any dialogue - and is particularly resistant to introducing the children into Season's Greetings as it suggests the point of the play has been missed.

Can I record a production? Can I stream / distribute a production?
No. Within all Ayckbourn productions licenses, it is stated that productions may not be recorded. Obviously, this means they cannot be streamed or distributed either as this would mean the licence has been broken by recording the production in the first place.

On the Concord Theatricals / Samuel French website, it says 'This title is currently restricted in London', what does this mean? Should we still apply for a license?
Definitely apply for a license. There are very few titles restricted in London at any given time and it is always worth contacting them about applying for a license. Whilst there are occasions when a play is unavailable, the majority of Ayckbourn plays are available to perform in London at any given time.

Why can't I stage the most recent Ayckbourn play? / Why isn't the latest Ayckbourn play yet available for production?
A new play will not be released for amateur performance until the professional stage life has been fully exploited.

The website / Concord Theatricals states a play is available yet we can't get a license, why?
This is frequently because when a play is revived professionally, amateur rights are often restricted or withdrawn completely until the professional contract has expired. This is in order to protect the professional production's box office income.

Why as an amateur group can we not perform a play which is in the West End / touring nationally?
It is standard practice for amateur rights to be restricted and often professional producers' contracts guarantee this. However, licensing organisations - such as Concord Theatrical - do liaise with authors' agents on many such applications as they certainly do not wish to lose amateur royalty income unnecessarily.

Which plays by Alan Ayckbourn are available to perform?
A complete list of Ayckbourn plays which have been released for professional and amateur performance can be found here. Please note, just because a play has been released for performance, does not necessarily mean it is available (see note about play restrictions above).

Where can I obtain specific props / costumes for Ayckbourn productions?
Sadly, the website does not carry information such as this and we are unable to help with such enquiries
All research in this section is by Simon Murgatroyd and should be credited if reproduced.