The Ayckbourn Archive: Way Upstream

These Archival items and images related to Alan Ayckbourn's popular and award-winning play, Way Upstream, 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
Way Upstream section here.

Visit the in-depth Way Upstream section at Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.

Way Upstream (1981)

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Title: Early Notes (1981)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: Early hand-written notes for Way Upstream by Alan Ayckbourn. This a basic plot synopsis with major differences not least Alastair and Emma and Adam and Edie and the boat is called the Hadforth Maid II rather than the Hadforth Bounty.

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Title: Set Sketch (1981)
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: Alan Ayckbourn's hand-drawn sketch for the set of the world premiere of Way Upstream at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1981. Not to scale, it clearly shows the boat and river bank.

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Title: Hadforth Bounty (1981)
Photogrtapher: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn on the Hadforth Bounty on the set of the world premiere of Way Upstream in 1981. The boat was capable of moving sideways as well as turning through the water which filled the stage space.

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Title: Nudity (1981)
Copyright: The Scarborough News
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: The first review of Way Upstream was published in the Scarborough Evening News on 3 October 1981. As can be seen, the achievements of the play played second fiddle to the fact it was the first play at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round to feature full-frontal nudity.

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Title: Sunk (1982)
Copyright: The Scarborough News
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Another article from the Scarborough Evening News, this time from 2 September 1982 reporting on the infamous events which surrounded the National Theatre production of Way Upstream which saw the water tank split and flood parts of the venue.

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Title: Box Office (1982)
Copyright: To be confirmed
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: An intriguing note given to box office staff at the National Theatre on how to deal with public enquiries into incident which had seen the water tank split and which substantially delayed the planned opening of Way Upstream.

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Title: Public Notice (1982)
Copyright: To be confirmed
Archive: Borthwick Institute For Archives

Description: A note given to the public with regard to the situation for the continued issues with Way Upstream at the National Theatre following the water tank leak and then a smaller leak occurring after the set was reassembled. The opening night was eventually scheduled two months later than planned.

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Title: Concept Poster (2003)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A concept design for the poster for Alan Ayckbourn's 2003 revival of Way Upstream at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. The actual poster just focused on the image of the hand rising from the water with the beans which can be seen in the lenses of the binoculars.

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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.