The Ayckbourn Archive: Bedroom Farce

These Archival items and images related to Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed and award-winning play, Bedroom Farce, are predominantly drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York and The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
In-depth details about the play can be found at the
Bedroom Farce section here.

Visit the in-depth Bedroom Farce section at Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.

Bedroom Farce (1975)

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Title: Programme (1975)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: The programme for the world premiere of Bedroom Farce at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, is the first Ayckbourn premiere to have a 'photograph' on the cover (not shown at its best given the two-tone copying of the card programme).

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Title: Jeeves (1975)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: The earliest known reference to Bedroom Farce is on the back of a page of a Jeeves manuscript. Alan wrote Bedroom Farce while his and Andrew Lloyd Webber's infamous musical was in rehearsals. Note the original stage design is cruciform with four couples in four beds.

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Title: Notes (1975)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: A foolscap sheet of early hand-written notes for Bedroom Farce by Alan Ayckbourn. Of particular note is the different names originally proposed whilst Ernest & Delia and Susannah & Trevor are present from the beginning. Jan & Nick were originally known as Patsy & Nick with Kate & Malcom being Mavis & Austin.

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Title: Cruciform (1975)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: Another sketch by the playwright of a cruciform designed in-the-round stage-space for Bedroom Farce. The playwright later realised the play became more interesting with four couples and three bedrooms meaning one couple was constantly on the loose and able to visit each of the other bedrooms.

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Title: Round Design (1975)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: Alan originally intended to stage Bedroom Farce in-the-round in the Lecture Room space at the Library Theatre as this design by the playwright shows as can be seen in his design here. However, Alan miscalculated the size of the beds leading to a hasty re-design and the move to a three-sided premiere production.

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Title: Redesign (1975)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: Having realised it was not possible to do an in-the-round staging of Bedroom Farce for the Library Theatre, Alan amended his plans for three-sided which can be seen in his floor-plan for the stage here.

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Title: The Set (1975)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A rarely seen image of the set for the world premiere of Bedroom Farce at the Library Theatre. Note how it corresponds to the design in the previous panel.

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Title: National Theatre (1977)
Copyright: National Theatre
Archive: National Theatre

Description: Bedroom Farce was the first of Alan Ayckbourn's plays to be staged by the National Theatre and marked his London premiere as a director. Although the bed image (see next panel) is the most famous poster associated with the production, there were several variants including this original design.

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Title: Bedroom Farce (1977)
Copyright: National Theatre
Archive: National Theatre

Description: This image is the most famous of the posters used for the National Theatre production of Bedroom Farce which ran for more than a year before transferring to the West End and Broadway.

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Title: Broadway (1978)
Copyright: National Theatre
Archive: National Theatre

Description: When the National Theatre toured Bedroom Farce to North America, it made an unusual choice for the poster which featured on posters and also the original North American publication of the play-script. The image was used nowhere else and is an interesting take on the play.

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Title: Michael Gough (1977)
Copyright: National Theatre
Archive: National Theatre

Description: A rare photograph of Alan Ayckbourn during rehearsals for Bedroom Farce at the National Theatre with Joan Hickson (Delia) and Michael Gough (Enrest).

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Title: Peter Hall (1977)
Copyright: National Theatre
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: A photograph of Peter Hall (left), Artistic Director of the National Theatre, and Alan Ayckbourn on the set of Bedroom Farce in the Lyttelton Theatre at the National. Peter Hall was a great champion of Alan's writing and responsible for his plays being regularly produced at the National during the 1970s and 1980s.

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All material within this section is copyright of the respective copyright holder. Please do not reproduce or store any material without the permission of the copyright holder or the institution which holds the relevant material.