Alan Ayckbourn: “Ever since I tried to retire things have got busier”

There was an interesting article in the Guardian this weekend about the dramatist Alan Ayckbourn, his long career and the revival of one of his plays at the National Theatre. 

The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where Ayckbourn was Artistic Director from 1972 to 2009.
Photo: 
Scarborough: Stephen Joseph Theatre by Tobias Schiller. Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence.
The University of York acquired Alan Ayckbourn’s archive in 2011 - it contains thousands of pages of material, including original manuscripts, handwritten drafts and plot diagrams, as well as photographs and a collection of letters “that reads like a Who’s Who of theatre”. Speaking at the announcement of the archive’s accession Sir Alan said:
“The archive is really about the writing process. The old method was my wife, Heather, at an old typewriter with me dictating from my handwritten notes. I always like to go to bed with a tidy script and, in the old days, I would trawl back through several pages of typing and blot things out with tippex or cover my scripts with arrows.
“I realised that what I was learning from others and from experience was valuable and I wanted to chronicle it. I hope the Archive is an extension of this. I think the Archive will be a fertile ground for ideas and inspire people to write.” University of York News and Events, 27 June 2011
The material is held in the Samuel Storey Writing and Performance Collection within the Borthwick Institute for Archives. More information on the collection and on the Alan Ayckbourn Archive Education project is available from the Borthwick’s website or by contacting them directly.

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