The Ayckbourn Archive: Alan Ayckbourn

These images are drawn from Alan Ayckbourn's directing career. Alan first professionally directed in 1961 at the Library Theatre, Scarborough. Since then he has directed more than 350 productions in the UK, Europe and North America including productions for the National Theatre, the West End, on Broadway and for the Royal Shakespeare Company

Alan Ayckbourn: Director

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Title: Confusions (1974)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: This is believed to be the earliest photograph in existence of Alan directing in Scarborough. Here he watches the original company rehearsing Between Mouthfuls for Confusions. It is also a rare shot of Alan in the Lecture Room at the Library Theatre, where the company occasionally had to perform rather than in the usual Concert Room.

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Title: Football (1978)
Photographer: Unknown (© Haydonning Ltd)
Archive: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Description: A warning not to play in rehearsals, this photograph of Alan playing football in the rehearsal room was taken seconds before he twisted his back taking the shot and ending up in hospital before conducting the rest of the rehearsals largely immobile!

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Title: Sisterly Feelings (1979)
Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A shot of Alan during rehearsals for the world premiere of Sisterly Feelings in 1979. The photographer Alex Russell worked with the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round for a decade.

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Title: Taking Steps (1979)
Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn in the rehearsal room for the world premiere of what he considers to be his only true farce, Taking Steps.

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Title: Season's Greetings (1980)
Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A photo of Alan Ayckbourn during rehearsals for the world premiere of Season's Greetings.

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Title: Making Tracks (1981)
Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn and his musical director, Paul Todd (right) in rehearsals for the world premiere of Making Tracks; the musical featured a band live on stage incorporated into the action.

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Title: A Trip To Scarborough (1982)
Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn directs the world premiere of his adaptation of R.B. Sheridan's A Trip To Scarborough.

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Title: Absent Friends (1997)
Photographer: Unknown (© The Scarborough News)
Archive: The Ayckbourn Archive

Description: A shot from rehearsals for Alan Ayckbourn's 1997 revival of Absent Friends at the Stephen Joseph Theatre with Jacqueline King and Tamzin Outhwaite, who would both go onto notable success on stage and screen. This was Tamzin's first major dramatic role.

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Title: Orvin (2003)
Photographer: Any Bartholomew (© Tony Bartholomew)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn during rehearsal for the music Orvin - Champion of Champions - a co-production between the Stephen Joseph Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre which featured a cast of more than 40 young people.

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Title: Private Fears (2005)
Photographer: Tony Bartholomew (© Tony Bartholomew)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Alan Ayckbourn directing Paul Kemp in the world premiere of his acclaimed Private Fears in Public Places which would go on to a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway transfer.

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Title: Absurd Person Singular (2012)
Photographer: Robert Day (© Robert Day)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Since his stroke in 2006, Alan Ayckbourn has conducted all his rehearsals in his own rehearsal room attached to his house. Here he directs the 2012 revival of Absurd Person Singular for the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

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Title: Read-Through (2019)
Photographer: Hannah van Helvoort (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A wide-shot of the first read-through of Alan Ayckbourn's Birthdays Past, Birthday Present during 2019. The company's Artistic Director - Paul Robinson - is stood to the left as Alan holds court before the read-through begins.

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