Ayckbourn Chronology: 1971

Notable Events

During 1971, Alan Ayckbourn…

saw How The Other Half Loves become his first play to be produced on Broadway - at the Royale Theatre. It starred Phil Silvers of Sgt Bilko fame as Frank Foster and ran for three months, but was not a huge success.

travelled to the USA with How The Other Half Loves with the Library Theatre appointing Caroline Smith as Director Of Productions for the summer season.

was nominated for the Italia Prize for his radio production of Don Haworth's We All Come To It In The End for BBC Radio 3; one of his final radio productions to be broadcast having left the BBC in 1970.

returned to Scarborough to direct the world premiere of Time & Time Again at the Library Theatre; his first play to have a water feature - a garden pond.

saw The Story So Far... (retitled to Me Times Me Times Me) begin a pre-West End tour. The tour was unsuccessful and does not transfer into London.

has the first professional production of children's play Ernie's Incredible Illucinations by Unicorn Theatre For Children. The play had previously been produced in an amateur capacity.

separates from his wife, Christine, and begins living with his future wife, Heather Stoney. He will not divorce and remarry until 1997 though.

World Premieres

Time & Time Again
8 July: The Library Theatre, Scarborough

Notable Ayckbourn Productions

How The Other Half Loves (New York premiere)
29 March: Royale Theatre, New York
Me Times Me Times Me (Tour)
25 August: UK tour produced by Eddie Kulukundis
Ernie's Incredible Illucinations
17 September: Unicorn Theatre, London

Professional Directing

Time & Time Again
The Library Theatre, Scarborough


"I get my ideas from my own life experiences. I tend to pile them up like a coffee percolator during the course of a year."
(Boston Traveller, 7 March 1971)

"I think of myself as a social writer. I believe the average man is more worried about what socks to wear than the Vietnam War. He has his own little social walls.
(Boston Traveller, 7 March 1971)

"I like to write about the smaller things in life, the things that occupy so many of us. And the barriers we set up for ourselves. How we deceive each other and sometimes are very cruel to one another without meaning to be. My plays are about people trying to live together, really."
(Boston Sunday Globe, 7 March 1971)

"We [Christine Roland and Alan Ayckbourn] married young, you see, and when that happens there's the danger that one day you'll wake up and ask yourself what on earth you're doing in this situation. Then you do one of three things - divorce, blow up at each other all the time, or stay together and try to make it work."
(Boston Sunday Advertiser, 7 March 1971)

"I'm really sort of a half-caste now. If someone attacks the South I defend it. Then if I'm in London and someone talks about Northerners as if they still wear clogs I get annoyed. I write still in the Southern idiom. I've never dared to write like Alan Plater for instance, although I did put a 'yer what?' into Relatively Speaking. The Southern actors asked about it, so it was cut out."
(Financial Times, 8 July 1971)

"It's [Scarborough] such a great place to work. You can have your cake and eat it. Most places you have to work in the theatre are also the densest areas off population… and besides I'm also a pinball addict."
(Financial Times, 8 July 1971)

"As a result of my acting experience you will never find a 'what say you, m'lord' bit part in my plays. There are no postmen or butlers. I try to give everyone in the cast a real part. When I was acting and simply standing on stage like a piece of scenery I would start asking myself what I was doing there and wondering whether to walk off"
(Evening News, 13 August 1971)
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd and copyright of Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.