Alan Ayckbourn: Press Releases

This page contains current press releases relating to Alan Ayckbourn, productions of his work and associated events. An archive of significant previous press releases is available here.
If you have an enquiry regarding Alan Ayckbourn or his plays, please contact Simon Murgatroyd at

For One Night Only, An Unseen Ayckbourn Comes To Halifax

An exclusive opportunity to see an Alan Ayckbourn play unperformed for more than 50 years is taking place at The Square Chapel, Halifax, in July.

The world famous, Scarborough-based playwright, who is celebrating both his 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut this year, has given permission to Huddersfield-based Dick & Lottie to stage his fourth play
Standing Room Only for one performance only.

The play was premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1961 and was last performed in 1966, since then it has been withdrawn and never been published or performed. Dick & Lottie will be giving a rehearsed reading on Thursday 4 July with a professional company for this exclusive performance in Halifax.

The evening will be introduced by the playwright’s own Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, who is also patron of Dick & Lottie and delighted to be participating in this unique event.

“In Sir Alan’s anniversary year, this is going to be one of the must-see events for Ayckbourn fans. Standing Room Only is a fascinating play which shows early signs of the playwright’s promise and I’m thrilled to be participating in the first - and probably only - performance during my lifetime.”

Standing Room Only is a comedy set in the then far future of 1997 with the country having been locked in a perpetual traffic gridlock for decades. On a stranded double-decker bus on Shaftesbury Avenue, a family must contend with a mysterious stranger and the prospect of an illegal pregnancy.

Dick & Lottie is the UK’s only theatre company exclusively dedicated to the plays of Alan Ayckbourn and is based at the Lawerence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. The company has produced almost 40 works by Alan Ayckbourn since being formed in 2004 and has even performed for the playwright at his home in Scarborough.

Following the success and warm reception of their recent productions at The Square Chapel since 2018, the company decided to mount this special event in Halifax. Although Alan himself has no connections to Halifax, between 1965 and 1970 he lived in nearby Adel whilst working a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC in Leeds.

Standing Room Only can be seen on Thursday 4 July at The Square Chapel, Halifax, at 8pm. Tickets are priced at £12 (£10 concessions) and can be booked by calling the box office on 01422 349422 or visiting the website

Note to editors: Both Alan Ayckbourn’s Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, and John Cotgrave, Artistic Director of Dick & Lottie, are available for interviews regarding this event. Please contact Simon Murgatroyd on 07473 499686 or at: for enquiries.

Posted on 18 January 2019

World premiere and classic revival at the Stephen Joseph Theatre during summer 2019

Alan Ayckbourn will direct the world premiere of his new play, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present and a revival of Season's Greetings at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, this summer. Season's Greetings will be in repertory from 25 July to 28 September and Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present will be in repertory from 4 September to 5 October.

Season’s Greetings, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn (Thursday 25 July to Saturday 28 September)
When families get together to celebrate a special occasion, there's a danger that all hell will break loose. Particularly if you happen to be trapped for several days with all your relatives and copious amounts of alcohol...
Neville and Belinda are hosting their extended family over a long weekend. The presence of two tyrannical uncles – Bernard, whose ham-fisted annual puppet shows are a source of dread to young and old alike, and TV addict Harvey – promises to stir up trouble from the start. And that’s before you add to the mix broken toys, creaking marriages and guest novelist Clive, whose relationship with Belinda’s sister Rachel is going nowhere, causing him to look for love elsewhere.
Directed by the author, this is the first time that the Stephen Joseph Theatre has staged Season’s Greetings since its premiere here in 1980 – a rare opportunity to see a sparkling new production of a classic Ayckbourn comedy.

Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn (Wednesday 4 September to Saturday 5 October)
It’s Mickey’s 80th birthday and he and his wife Meg are awaiting the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his new (and latest!) fiancée, Grace. Adrian has, according to his parents, a certain reputation regarding women and they feel meek, mild-mannered Grace should surely be warned of this.  
But are things really as they appear? Be prepared, as birthday follows birthday, to be amazed as the truth is finally revealed about Adrian, the suburban closet Lothario!
As ingenious in its construction as any of his previous plays, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is the 83rd play from one of Britain’s greatest playwrights in a year that he celebrates not only his own 80th birthday, but also the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut – The Square Cat, his first professionally-produced play, opened at Scarborough’s Library Theatre on 30 July 1959.

Tickets for all the shows are priced from £10, and will go on sale from Friday 1 March (with priority booking for the theatre’s membership scheme, The Circle, from Friday 15 February) and can be booked at the box office on 01723 370541 or via the website:

Posted on 18 January 2019

2019: An Anniversary Year

Sir Alan Ayckbourn will mark two major anniversaries in 2019 with his 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary pdf his playwriting debut.
The Scarborough based playwright will be 80 on 13 April 2019 and he continues to both write and direct for his home theatre in Scarborough, the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
During 2019 he will direct both the world premiere of his new play and a revival of a classic Ayckbourn play during the summer - details of both productions are due to be announced in early 2019.
The playwright will also be celebrating the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut. On 30 July 1959,
The Square Cat opened at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, directed by Alan's most influential mentor Stephen Joseph. It began an extraordinarily successful playwriting career which has encompassed six decades and 83 full-length plays.
In a year of anniversaries, one of his most popular plays
How The Other Half Loves will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary since its debut on 31 July 1969 at the Library Theatre, Scarborough.
Details of events to mark the playwright's anniversaries will be announced during the course of 2019 with a dedicated
page and resources on the playwright's Official Website.

Posted on 4 December 2018

Faber Publishes Sixth Volume Of Alan Ayckbourn's Plays With A New York Twist

New York casts an influence over the sixth volume of Alan Ayckbourn's collected plays, which will be published by Faber in August.
Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 6 is released on 2 August and collects five of the playwright's plays including his most recent success A Brief History Of Women (2017) alongside Time Of My Life (1992), Neighbourhood Watch (2011), Arrivals & Departures (2013) and Hero's Welcome (2015).
Each of the plays has been a critical success in New York with their premiere productions in the city directed by Alan Ayckbourn at the annual
Brits Off Broadway festival at the 59E59 Theaters between 2011 and 2018 featuring the original company from his home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.
A Brief History Of Women was seen in May 2018 at the 59E59 Theatres and garnered acclaim from the New York Times' critic Ben Brantley who noted: "Mr. Ayckbourn’s enduring and infectious affection for theater permeates every scene." The production broke attendance records at the 59E59 and continues a hugely successful affiliation between Alan Ayckbourn, the Stephen Joseph Theatre and the 59E59 Theaters which began in 2005.
The other plays within the collection also received critical and popular acclaim during their transfers to New York and
Neighbourhood Watch and Arrivals & Departures are considered two of the playwright's finest work of this decade; Neighbourhood Watch is currently proving to be immensely popular and is the most produced Ayckbourn play by amateur companies in the UK over the past year.
This is the sixth volume of Alan Ayckbourn's plays to be published by Faber since 1998 and it will be published in softback on 2 August and as a digital ebook on 23 August. Running to 512 pages, it will be priced at £18.99 for the softback and £17.99 for the ebook.

Posted on 14 June 2018

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