Alan Ayckbourn: Actor


Two For The Seesaw (1964)

Play: Two For The Seesaw
Author: William Gibson
Opening Night: 14 September 1964
Venue:
Civic Theatre, Rotherham
Staging:
End-stage

Director:
Richard Graham
Stage Manager: Bill Kenwright

Character
Jerry Ryan
Gittel Mosca

Actor
Alan Ayckbourn
Heather Stoney
Stacks Image 29
Alan (left) in Two For The Seesaw
Copyright: Studio Theatre Ltd

Quotes & Notes

In 1964, Alan retired from professional acting to initially concentrate on writing and directing. With Mr Whatnot optioned for a West End transfer, Alan believed this was the opportunity to concentrate on writing and leave acting.
Unfortunately
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 Library Theatre. His professional acting career, began in 1956, had come to a close.

Alan Ayckbourn's final professional 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.