Alan Ayckbourn: Actor

Christmas V Mastermind (1962)

Production Details


First performance:
Final performance:


Christmas V Mastermind
Alan Ayckbourn

26 December 1962
19 January 1962

Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

Peter Cheeseman
Father Christmas
A Fairy
A Gnome
The Crimson Gollywog
PC Fumble
Policewoman Trout
Stanley Page
Heather Stoney
David Halliwell
Alan Ayckbourn
Elizabeth Bell
David Wehner
Peter King
Arnold Beck
Caroline Smith

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.

Christmas V Mastermind was written by Alan Ayckbourn and is the last of his own plays in which he acted on stage.

"It was my last full-length children's play for 26 years. It was also the last of my plays that I appeared in [on stage]. I played a villain in a dressing gown who pushed a Christmas fairy out of a fifth floor window having fastened her wings together with a bulldog clip. One of the few laughs in the show, I recall, though like
Dad's Tale hardly any children came to see it so it never really stood much of a chance. A woman wrote and said, after watching it, she was never coming to our theatre again. Ah, me."
(Alan Ayckbourn, 1999)

Review extract from the Scarborough Evening News (6 July 1962)
"Alan Ayckbourn and Elizabeth Bell masterfully assume various guises, and there are delightful cameos from the rest of the cast."
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.