Alan Ayckbourn: Actor


The Birds And The Well-Wishers (1962)

Play: The Birds And The Well-Wishers
Author: W.F. Norfolk
Opening Night:
5 July 1962
Venue:
Library Theatre, Scarborough
Staging:
Round

Director:
Peter Cheeseman

Character
Mrs Trigger
Vi
Maisie
Fred
Bob
Stage Manager

Actor
Heather Stoney
Marie Adams
Elizabeth Bell
Alan Ayckbourn
Richard Gill
Arnold Beck
Stacks Image 192
Alan (right) in The Birds And The Well-Wishers
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust

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 the end of the summer season, Studio Theatre Ltd - which had been based at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, 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 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.

The Birds And The Well-Wishers was presented as a double bill with W.F. Norfolk's Nine Floors, Not Counting The Mezzanine. It was originally produced at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, before being revived later in the year at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent with a slightly altered cast. Click here for details.

Review extract from The Guardian (5 July 1962)
"Perhaps the main point about this excellently brisk production in-the-round is Alan Ayckbourn's triumph as Fred. Angular and open-mouthed in an army shirt and light blue drape suit, his performance at Mrs Trigger's party is almost painfully hilarious."

Review extract from the Scarborough Evening News (6 July 1962)
"The performance of Marie Adams as Vi matches Elizabeth Bell's in its sharply etched realism. Alan Ayckbourn is sound as Fred."

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.