Alan Ayckbourn: Actor

Usher (1962)

Production Details


First performance:


David Campton

28 June 1962
Theatre in the Round at the the Library Theatre, Scarborough

David Campton
Roderick Usher
Madeline Usher
Edwin Allen
Alan Ayckbourn
Elizabeth Bell
Peter King
Marie Adams
Stanley Page
Arnold Beck
Richard Gill

Quotes & Notes

1962 marked a period of change for Alan Ayckbourn. For the first half of the year, he was based with the Studio Theatre Company in Scarborough, working predominantly as an actor (although he was now also writing and directing) at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre. At the end of the summer season, Studio Theatre Ltd - which had been based at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre since its founding in 1955 - moved to the UK's first permanent theatre-in-the-round venue at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent; Scarborough was home to the first theatre-in-the-round company. Alan moved with the company to Stoke-on-Trent and was employed as an actor, director and writer; whilst it has been suggested Alan was the Associate Director of the venue alongside the Artistic Director Peter Cheeseman, Alan has said this was never the case as far as he was aware! While Theatre in. The Round at the Library Theatre did continue in Scarborough, Alan would not return on a permanent basis until he took over as Artistic Director in 1972, although he would still work closely with the theatre during the interim years.

Usher was originally produced at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, before being revived later in the year from 5 November at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent with a slightly altered cast. Click here for details.

Review extract from the Scarborough Evening News (29 June 1962)
"The play is put over efficiently and the acting throughout is assured, Miss Bell as Madeline succeeding at times in being quite frightening. Alan Ayckbourn is a sympathetic Roderick."

Review extract from The Guardian (6 July 1962)
"In spite of some bold acting by Alan Ayckbourn, as melancholic Roderick Usher, Elizabeth Bell, as his sister, and Peter King, as the city saviour, it must be said that the play substantially fails to horrify."

Review extract from The Stage (2 August 1962)
"Roderick Usher, realistically played by Alan Ayckbourn...."
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.