Alan Ayckbourn: Actor

Ring Of Roses (1958)

Production Details


Opening Night:

Ring of Roses
David Campton

22 December 1958
Library Theatre, Scarborough

Stephen Joseph
Faynia Jeffery
David Sutton
Dona Martyn
Alan Ayckbourn
Rodney Wood
Harold Goodwin

Quotes & Notes

Having rejoined the Library Theatre, Scarborough, for the 1958 summer season, Alan remained with the company for its winter season at the Library Theatre followed by a regional tour.

For the first time, Alan was employed purely as an actor; although given the nature of the company, it is likely he was still involved in occasional stage management and technical work.

One of the most famous stories of Alan Ayckbourn's career is how he began his career as a professional writer. After playing what he felt was a particularly poor role, he challenged the Library Theatre's Artistic Director Stephen Joseph about the quality of his roles. In riposte, Stephen challenged him to write a better role and if the play was of any quality, he would stage it. As a result, Alan wrote
The Square Cat which premiered in Scarborough in the summer of 1959.

For many years, Alan noted the role which drove him to confront Stephen was Nicholas in
Bell, Book And Candle. Alan's biographer Paul Allen realised this could not be the case as Bell, Book And Candle was in the same season as Alan's first play The Square Cat. It transpired the role in question was Eric in Ring Of Roses but that given Alan and David Campton were friends, Alan had not wanted to say the offending play had been written by David.

Review extract from The Stage (1 January 1959)
"As the unsuccessful lover, Alan Ayckbourn burbled amusingly into oblivion."
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.