Love After All: Articles

This article was written by the Library Theatre's Artistic Director and Alan Ayckbourn's mentor, Stephen Joseph. It was published in the programmes for the world premiere of Love After All during 1959

Love After All

The Studio Theatre Company is often referred to as an experimental theatre, and there are two aspects of our work which justify this description. First, the form of staging that we call theatre in the round is still sufficiently unusual to suggest something in the nature of an experiment, and second, the presentation of new plays by any company outside the west-end is generally considered to be pioneer work in itself. There are very few companies in this country that qualify on either of these grounds - and, at present, no other company that we know of, that qualifies on both; indeed we are often criticised for trying to conduct two experiments at once!
Having been labelled an experimental theatre, we are not surprised that people expect us to act like one - in respects which they consider to be experimental. For instance, it is not usually considered proper, in view of past experiences, for an experimental theatre to stage farcical entertainments designed to make the audience enjoy themselves with unsophisticated laughter. And every season we try and include in our repertoire at least one thoroughly light-hearted farce - for our own enjoyment, as well as the audience's. We have, (with some cunning) managed to put on farces that are also new plays, so we have been able to provoke laughter without provoking too much high-brow disapproval.
However, the fact is that the most important aspect of our experiment depends on vigorous response, of every sort from our audiences. We are trying to find a form of presentation, and a style of writing, which will enable actors to make a greater appeal to audiences, to entertain audiences more than they are entertained by conventional plays in the conventional theatre. So we are delighted to have this opportunity of presenting a new farce by Roland Allen - a pen name that conceals the identity of Alan Ayckbourn, who has acted with us for several seasons. His experience as an actor, working with the company, gives his play a special claim to our attention. And we hope it will be the cause of much amusement and laughter, besides being an important part of our experiment.

Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.