Alan Ayckbourn: Play Facts

This page contains a brief introduction to Alan Ayckbourn's plays. Full details about all the plays can be found via the morpheus.

> As of 2017, Alan Ayckbourn has written:
  • 81 full length plays - the 81st will premiere this summer at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
  • 11 revues / musical entertainments
  • 5 one act / short plays
  • 2 plays for performance by young people
  • 4 plays for pre-school children
  • 5 adaptations of existing plays
  • 1 narrative for voices
  • 1 screenplay
  • 1 book

> The 81 full length plays include:
  • 11 family plays
  • 8 musicals
  • 1 farce
  • 3 plays incorporating elements of chance
  • 2 trilogies

> His first professional full-length play was
The Square Cat which opened on 30 July 1957.

> His largest work is
Intimate Exchanges which has more than 16 hours of dialogue, 31 scenes and has 16 different permutations with 10 characters all performed by two actors.

> He considers that he has only written one true full-length farce, this being
Taking Steps.

> He has written two trilogies,
The Norman Conquests and the Damsels In Distress; his three supernatural plays (Haunting Julia, Snake In The Grass and Life & Beth) are thematically connected but are not officially considered a trilogy.

> He has written two plays in two parts,
The Revengers' Comedies and Consuming Passions, and one duology, House & Garden.

> He has written three plays involving an element of 'chance':
Sisterly Feelings, It Could Be Any One Of Us & Roundelay.

> His play
Intimate Exchanges - which has 16 possible permutations - is not a play of 'chance' but a play of 'choice' as there is no random element within the play. The choice of each night's permutation is set in advance.

> He has written three full-length plays involving audience interaction with
Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays and The Musical Jigsaw Play; his most interactive play, The Karaoke Theatre Company is not considered one of his full-length canonical works.

> He has written just one screenplay,
Service Not Included, for BBC television.

> He has written only five full-length plays specifically intended for end-stage performance -
Bedroom Farce, A Small Family Business, Haunting Julia, Things We Do For Love and Virtual Reality; the rest of the plays are ideally performed in-the-round and Taking Steps was written specifically for in-the-round performance.

> Only four of his plays have not premiered in Scarborough:
Christmas V Mastermind, Mr Whatnot, Jeeves and A Small Family Business.

> His shortest full-length work is
Consuming Passions which runs at just 1 hour and 20 minutes without interval.

> His longest full-length play is
The Revengers' Comedies whose two parts have a combined running time of 4 hours and 15 minutes without intervals; however his longest work is the narrative for voice, The Divide, which runs to approximately five-and-a-half hours.

Original research for all the play pages is by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd.
Full Length Plays
Click on a title to learn more
1959   The Square Cat
1959   Love After All
1960   Dad's Tale
1961   Standing Room Only
1962   Christmas V Mastermind
1963   Mr Whatnot
1965   Relatively Speaking
1967   The Sparrow
1969   How The Other Half Loves
1970   Family Circles
1971   Time And Time Again
1972   Absurd Person Singular
1973   Living Together
1973   Table Manners
1973   Round And Round The Garden
1973   The Norman Conquests
1974   Absent Friends
1974   Confusions
1975   Jeeves
1996   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
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
1999   Callisto#7

1991   Wildest Dreams
1991   My Very Own Story
1991   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   By Jeeves
1996   The Champion Of Paribanou
1997   Things We Do For Love
1998   Comic Potential
1998   The Boy Who Fell Into A Book
2014   The Boy Who Fell Into A Book
1999   House
1999   Garden

2000   Virtual Reality
2000   Whenever
2001   GamePlan
2001   FlatSpin
2001   RolePlay
2001   Damsels In Distress
2002   Snake In The Grass
2002   The Jollies
2003   Sugar Daddies
2003   Orvin - Champion Of Champions
2003   My Sister Sadie
2004   Drowning On Dry Land
2004   Private Fears In Public Places
2004   Miss Yesterday
2005   Improbable Fiction
2006   If I Were You
2008   Life & Beth
2008   Awaking Beauty
2009   My Wonderful Day
2010   Life Of Riley
2011   Neighbourhood Watch
2012   Surprises
2013   Arrivals & Departures
2014   Roundelay
2015   Hero’s Welcome
2016   Consuming Passions
2017   A Brief History Of Women