Ayckbourn Chronology: 1985

Notable Events

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© Haydonning Ltd

During 1985, Alan Ayckbourn…

directed A Chorus Of Disapproval at the National Theatre starring Michael Gambon and Bob Peck.

directed Woman In Mind at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round.

received his first Olivier Award for A Chorus Of Disapproval (Best Comedy), which also received the Evening Standard and DRAMA Awards for Best Comedy.

announced he would be taking a sabbatical from the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round for two years from 1986 to 1988 to work as a company director at the National Theatre.

saw Absent Friends and Absurd Person Singular adapted for television and broadcast on BBC1.

had Confusions and Season's Greetings broadcast on BBC Radio.

saw Intimate Exchanges published by Samuel French.
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Russell Dixon, Barry McCarthy & Ursula Jones in the world premiere of Woman In Mind.
© Scarborough Theatre Trust

World Premieres

Boy Meets Girl / Girl Meets Boy (Revue)
23 May: Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Woman In Mind
30 May: Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Tons Of Money (Adaptation)
11 November: Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round

Notable Ayckbourn Productions

A Chorus Of Disapproval (West End premiere)
1 August: National Theatre, London

Professional Directing

A Chorus Of Disapproval
National Theatre, London
Woman In Mind *
Tons Of Money *
Boy Meets Girl *
Girl Meets Boy *
The Brontës Of Haworth *
Imaginary Lines *

* Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough

Plays In Other Media

Absurd Person Singular
Television: 1 January, BBC1
Radio: 20 April, BBC World Service
Absent Friends
Television: 29 September, BBC2
Season's Greetings
Radio: 28 December, BBC Radio 4


Olivier Award For Best Comedy
A Chorus Of Disapproval
Evening Standard Award For Best Comedy
A Chorus Of Disapproval
DRAMA Best Comedy Award
A Chorus Of Disapproval


"I don't feel negative about marriage as such but just the way people love together, how men and women fail to understand each other. One does see so many sad marriages, and if people relate to my plays I presume it is because it must often be like that out there."
(The Standard, 2 July 1985)

"I have a love of England's colloquial language, it's flexibility. No one word every means any one thing. Everything is rife with misinterpretation."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I've seen plays of mine on television but got little excitement from them."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I always consider myself much more a
director. That's the bit I enjoy. I'd prefer to direct a play than to write one."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I've only to hear someone in the bar say, 'I don't like that' and I think they're talking about my play. Usually they're complaining about the drink."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"Amateur dramatic societies have a very interesting class structure. They're a mixture of lonely hearts' club and a forum for frustrated would-be professionals."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I gained my expertise as a dramatist the hard way, on the shop floor."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I'm interested in people who aren't in control of their career. I've never been in control of mine. A lot of my obsessions are to do with the fact I've never taken a serious decision in my life."
(The Times, 27 July 1985)

"I think that the Ayckbourn tradition is shifting. It is not as light or as naturalistic as it used to be: there is now an increased element of surrealism in my plays."
(Yorkshire Evening Press, 24 October 1985)

"I always had the door opened to me. Even at the very beginning of my career. I have never in my life had a script rejected. Of course, some might say 'about time he did'…"
(Midweek, 31 October 1985)
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd and copyright of Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.