The Ayckbourn Archive: Taking Steps

These Archival items and images related to Alan Ayckbourn's sole full-length farce, Taking Steps, 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
Taking Steps section here.

Visit the in-depth Taking Steps section at Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.

Taking Steps (1979)

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Title: Characters (1979)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: Within the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, there are Alan Ayckbourn's hand-written notes for Taking Steps including these early insights into the characters in the play.

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Title: Structure (1979)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: Within the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, there are Alan Ayckbourn's hand-written notes for Taking Steps including this early plot-breakdown of the play.

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Title: Stage (1979)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: Taking Steps is regarded by Alan Ayckbourn as his only farce and is renowned for its unusual staging which really only works in-the-round with three floors transposed upon one another. This is an early sketch by the playwright of the stage-space held in the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

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Title: Portrait (1979)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: A portrait of Alan Ayckbourn in 1979 standing on the set for the world premiere of Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough.

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Title: Press Cutting (1980)
Copyright: Scarborough News
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: A newspaper cutting from the Scarborough Evening News on 4 September 1980 with a rather notable - and obvious - error. Taking Steps was the first play staged at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round to reach 100 performances (only one other play has subsequently achieved this) rather than the 1,000 shows noted by this headline!

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Title: Cake (1980)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: To mark Taking Steps becoming the first play staged by the Scarborough company to reach 100 performances, a special cake was made based upon the poster for the production at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round.

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Title: Press Cutting (1990)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: During 1990, Alan Ayckbourn revived Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round with Michael Gambon playing Roland Crabbe. This is the playwright's sketch of the set for the revival.

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Title: Press Release (1990)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A press release for Alan Ayckbourn's 1990 revival of Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round promoting the fact Michael Gambon was to appear in both this play and Othello - marking the first (and last) time Alan Ayckbourn directed a play by Shakespeare.

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Title: Poster (1990)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: The poster for Alan Ayckbourn's 1990 revival of Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round. Like many of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, it is not particularly easy to find a defining image for a poster and this design is one of the more unusual ones for the play.

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Title: Publication (1981)
Copyright: Chatto & Windus
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: In 1981, Taking Steps was published in a mass-market hardback edition alongside Sisterly Feelings. This is the cover to the rare edition which is one of three hardback collection alongside The Norman Conquests and Three Plays.

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Title: Model Box (2017)
Copyright: Kevin Jenkins
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: During 2017, Alan Ayckbourn revived Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. The production was designed by Kevin Jenkins whose set can be seen in this photograph of the model box. Note the two staircases for the three overlaid floors of the house.

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Title: Costumes (2017)
Copyright: Kevin Jenkins
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Another example of the designer Kevin Jenkins' work on Alan Ayckbourn's 2017 revival of Taking Steps at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. These are some of the costume designs created by Kevin for the revival.

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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.