Dick & Lottie and Alan Ayckbourn’s Official Website
Alan Ayckbourn’s Official Website is proud to be the patron of the drama company Dick & Lottie.
Based in Huddersfield, it is the only amateur company in the UK dedicated to the works of Alan Ayckbourn and during its first ten years produced 25 of Alan Ayckbourn’s plays in 30 productions and public rehearsed readings.
Founded by John Cotgrave and Richard McArtney in 2004, the company is driven by John and Richard’s passion for Alan Ayckbourn’s plays. Ostensibly based at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, Dick & Lottie has also been touring its productions since 2015.
As the company reached its 30th production, Alan Ayckbourn’s Official Website was delighted to celebrate the passion, commitment and dedication of the company to Alan Ayckbourn’s writing by becoming its patron and forging closer links with Dick & Lottie.
Aside from the patronage, the company has previous links with Alan Ayckbourn, having performed for the playwright in his home-town of Scarborough and also seen Lady Ayckbourn perform with the company during its fundraising Ayckbourn Readathon in 2014.
Alan Ayckbourn’s Official Website founder and Alan Ayckbourn’s Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, feels as the website’s only patronage, this is the perfect association.
“I have known John & Richard for many years and seeing their company, Dick & Lottie, grow and succeed beyond anyone’s expectations has been a pleasure. I have met few people so committed to producing an authentic Ayckbourn experience and their productions constantly set a benchmark for amateur - and even professional - productions of his plays. I’m delighted the website is the company’s patron and will be playing a part in the company’s future.”
John Cotgrave, Artistic Director of Dick & Lottie, is delighted at the recognition and association with the website and Alan Ayckbourn’s Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd.
“Dick & Lottie is thrilled and honoured to have such a prestigious patron. It is a kite mark recognising the quality we achieve with the staging of Ayckbourn's plays - past and present. We look forward to a burgeoning relationship in the coming years.”
Further information on Dick & Lottie can be found via the links at the top of the page as well as via the Dick & Lottie Website and the Dick & Lottie Facebook page.
Why Dick & Lottie and why Alan Ayckbourn?by John Cotgrave, Artistic Director of Dick & Lottie
I cannot recall how the name for the company came about, except that In the foyer of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough is the benefactors board. Although it more than a decade now since I donated funds to the theatre my name sits on that board. Above my name sits Dick & Lottie and I recall thinking how clever and imaginative that an anonymous donor had used the two off-stage characters to cover their generosity. I think that was the prompt for the name of the company.
The one question I get asked - more often than not - is who are Dick & Lottie? Am I Dick? Is Richard, Lottie? Once, a piece in the Huddersfield Examiner named me Dick Cotgrave, which confused a lot of people.
As for why Alan Ayckbourn? I was first introduced to Alan Ayckbourn back in 1988. I'd started sixth form college in the centre of Manchester and in my free time I'd spend hours at the Geoffrey Clifton Theatre Book shop. As you entered the shop the right hand wall was adorned with every published script available - usually French's acting editions. They were all in alphabetical order and starting at the very beginning I picked up my very first AA script, flicked through it and read some dialogue - that play was Absent Friends. At the same time my sixth form tutor leant me a video of the recent BBC production of Season's Greetings which I simply marvelled at and watched countless times.
From that point on I was hooked. I'd discovered Marge and her kitchen-roll holder and that was it. Alan Ayckbourn has been in my life ever since. He's a great story teller. I enjoy the stories that he's written: The complex and dysfunctional relationships; the clever structures of his plays; the challenges he sets theatre makers; the focus on woman and their relationships with marriage and men; the breakdown in communication and language; the carefully crafted moments of chaos giving the audience moments of hilarity; the massive contribution to British theatre.
His plays have become best friends I've spent so much time with them.
Dick & Lottie Productions2004: Absent Friends
2004: Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays
2005: Joking Apart
2005: Invisible Friends
2006: Relatively Speaking
2007: Way Upstream*
2007: Bedroom Farce
2007: The Jollies
2008: Absent Friends*
2009: Table Manners
2010: Time and Time Again
2010: Living Together
2012: Round and Round the Garden
2012: The Norman Conquests
2012: Absurd Person Singular
2013: Improbable Fiction
2014: Relatively Speaking
2014: Life of Riley
2014: Man of the Moment
2014: Mr A’s Amazing Plays*
2014: The Boy Who Fell Into A Book*
2014: Bedroom Farce*
2014: Wildest Dreams*
2014: The Sparrow*
2014: Drowning On Dry Land
2015: Season’s Greetings
2015: Private Fears In Public Places
2016: Neighbourhood Watch
2016: Wildest Dreams
2016: Invisible Friends
2016: Woman In Mind
*Public rehearsed reading
Further details of previous productions can be found here.
Forthcoming Productions2017: Sisterly Feelings
2017: It Could Be Any One Of Us
Further details of future productions can be found here and at www.dickandlottie.com.