Alan Ayckbourn: Actor

Two For The Seesaw (1964)

Production Details


First performance:

Stage Manager:
Asst. Stage Manager:
Two For The Seesaw
William Gibson

14 September 1964
Civic Theatre, Rotherham

Geoffrey Staines
David Killick
Antony Hill
Bill Kenwright
Patrick Monkton
Richard Graham for London Theatre Presentations
Jerry Ryan
Gittel Mosca
Alan Ayckbourn
Heather Stoney

Quotes & Notes

During 1964, Alan retired from professional acting to concentrate on writing and directing. With his play Mr Whatnot optioned for a West End transfer, Alan believed this was the opportunity to concentrate on writing and to leave the acting profession acting.

Mr Whatnot was a flop in London and Alan subsequently took a job at the BBC as a radio drama producer, where he would work from 1965 until 1970; although during this period he would write four plays for Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre. His professional acting career, began in 1956, had come to a close.

Alan Ayckbourn's final professional stage-acting role was not one actively sought out, but the experience was enough to convince him that it was time to move on. In 1964, the Civic Theatre in Rotherham was staging a revival of William Gibson's play
Two For The Seesaw. When the two actors intended to play the roles became unavailable, the casting directory Spotlight contacted Alan about the possibility of him and Heather Stoney reprising the roles they had performed the year previously at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. The production ran for a week.

Alan has subsequently noted that this production put the final nail in his acting career largely due to the presence of an inexperienced stage-manager on the play. The stage manager was called Bill Kenwright who would later find considerably more success as one of the UK's leading theatre producers and who has subsequently staged Alan Ayckbourn's plays in the West End and throughout the country.
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.