Alan Ayckbourn: Plays Directed

A Little Stiff Built Chap (1969)

Production Details

New Play:


First performance:
Opening night:
Final performance:
Leonard Barras

Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre
Concert Room, Scarborough Library

3 July 1969
3 July 1969
3 September 1969

Company Details


Stage Manager:
Deputy Stage Manager:
Asst. Stage Manager:
Asst. Stage Manager:
Alan Ayckbourn
Peter Boden

Robin Holmes
Lesli Tomson
Charles Boyle
Sharon Duce
Harriet Grantham
John Grantham
Moira, their daughter
Stan, their son
Leslie O'Neil
P.C. Edgar Voss
Stephanie Turner
Brian Miller
Elisabeth Sladen
Jeremy Franklin
Robert Peck
Colin Edwynn


This was the first of two world premieres at the theatre by the comedy writer Leonard Barras. Alan Ayckbourn also directed the premiere of The Shy Gasman in 1970.
The director, Alan Ayckbourn, recalls that in the original script the daughter - played by Elisabeth Sladen - at one point enters the stage naked. Alan decided that Scarborough audiences were not quite ready for this and she instead wore underwear. It would be 12 years before a play featured nudity in Scarborough when Alan Ayckbourn premiered his play Way Upstream in 1981.
The subject of the play generated at least one letter of disgust to the Scarborough Evening News with an anonymous (obviously) writer taking aim at Alan Ayckbourn. A highlight of the correspondence - which includes a call to boycott the theatre - includes the following: “Many modern so-called playwrights appear to have minds which are little better than mental cesspools, and if the producer of this play, Mr Alan Ayckbourn, wishes to lower his reputation and standards to purveying their output, that is his concern. Perhaps he can find a market for it in a shady London ‘theatre club’.”
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Image copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust.