Careers: Videos

This page contains multimedia resources available from the official Ayckbourn YouTube channel relating to Alan Ayckbourn's careers. The 'A Life In Theatre' series explores individual career paths illustrated with images drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York.
A Life In Theatre: The Actor
Alan Ayckbourn began his professional theatre career as an actor. From 1956 to 1964, his predominant career was acting from appearing in Sir Donald Wolfit's company at the Edinburgh Festival to the Library Theatre, Scarborough, to the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. This video explores his acting career including his late return to acting during the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
A Life In Theatre: The Playwright
Alan Ayckbourn began playwriting in 1959 as the result of a challenge from his most significant mentor Stephen Joseph. It was to launch a career which was successful beyond all imaginings. Lasting more than six decades, it has seen Alan become on of the most recognised and successful British playwrights of the 20th century and his work has won acclaim and numerous awards over the decades.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
A Life In Theatre: The Director
In 1961, Alan Ayckbourn was encouraged to take up professional directing by his mentor Stephen Joseph, it would have a profound effect on his career. Ayckbourn has frequently said he considers himself a director first and playwright second and has directed more than 350 productions from Scarborough to London to New York. This video explores this vital strand of his career.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
A Life in Theatre: The Artistic Director
Alan Ayckbourn has largely been associated with the coastal resort of Scarborough throughout his entire professional career. Between 1972 and 2009, he was the Artistic Director of the town's theatre - initially the Library Theatre, now the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Here, his 37 years as Artistic Director and achievements are explore and put into the context of his wider writing and directing careers.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
A Life in Theatre: The BBC
For five years, Alan Ayckbourn worked as a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC, based in Leeds. His work was prolific and he produced more than 250 dramas and read hundreds of new plays submitted to the BBC. This largely unacknowledged aspect of his professional is undoubtedly pivotal in his step to successfully moving on to become the Artistic Director of the Library Theatre in Scarborough.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
A Life in Theatre: The National Theatre
Alan Ayckbourn has had a significant relationship with the National Theatre since the 1970s. His play, Bedroom Farce, is regarded as the venue's first hit in its South Bank home and Alan has directed numerous works there. From 1986 to 1988, he worked as a Company Director for the National and was acclaimed for his productions of Miller's A View From The Bridge and his own A Small Family Business.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
Stephen Joseph: Ayckbourn's Inspiration
Stephen Joseph was a British theatre pioneer during the 1950s and 1960s who was also, inarguably, then most significant single influence on Alan Ayckbourn's life and career. But who was Stephen Joseph and why is he so important to understanding Alan Ayckbourn and his extraordinary career in theatre? Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist explains his significance here.

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
Who is Alan Ayckbourn?
An introduction to Alan Ayckbourn, one of the UK's most successful playwrights of the late 20th / early 21st centuries. This video offers a brief introduction to the playwright's entire life and career as well as exploring some of his many notable achievements over more than six decades in theatre and his extraordinary commitment to regional theatre in the UK (updated for 2023).

Researched & presented by Simon Murgatroyd.
The videos on this page are copyright of Simon Murgatroyd and should not be reproduced, edited or stored in any format without permission of the copyright holder.