Alan Ayckbourn: Actor


Usher (1962)

Play: Usher
Author: David Campton
Opening Night:
5 November 1962
Venue:
Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
Staging:
Round

Director:
Peter Cheeseman

Character
Roderick Usher
Madeline Usher
Edwin Allen
Lucy
Doctor
Oliver
Finn

Actor
Alan Ayckbourn
Elizabeth Bell
Peter King
Heather Stoney
David Wehner
Arnold Beck
David Halliwell
Stacks Image 192
Alan in Usher
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.

Usher was originally produced - and premiered - at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, during the summer of 1962. It was then revived at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent with a slightly altered cast and re-directed by Peter Cheeseman.

Review extract from the Evening Sentinel (6 November 1962)
"This production by Peter Cheeseman is a triumph of sound and superb lighting effects, with powerful acting from Alan Ayckbourn, as the demented master of Usher, with death already in his pallid corpse's face and frightening eyes."

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.