Love After All: 10 Facts

10 Facts offer an at a glance guide to some of the key information relating to Alan Ayckbourn's plays.
  • Love After All is Alan Ayckbourn's second play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 21 December, 1959.
  • Love After All is credited to Roland Allen; a pseudonym used by Alan Ayckbourn for his earliest plays. It also acknowledges that he wrote Love After All with help from his first wife Christine Roland (the name being derived from Christine Roland / Alan Ayckbourn).
  • Alan Ayckbourn apparently 'borrowed' the plot for Love After All from The Barber Of Seville. His mentor Stephen Joseph had told him his second play would be more difficult to write than his first, but Alan found it easier having an existing plot to work with.
  • Love After All was - like The Square Cat before it - written as a showcase for Alan Ayckbourn's own acting abilities. Unfortunately, subsequent to writing the play Alan was called up for National Service and could not appear in the world premiere production.
  • So successful was the play in the winter 1959 season, that Love After All was revived for the summer 1960 season; this was the first time a play had been revived so quickly at the Library Theatre, Scarborough.
  • The revival was directed by Julian Herington, who was not happy with the original manuscript (the original production having been directed by Clifford Williams). Herington demanded the play be updated from the Edwardian period to the present day, alterations be made to the script and character names changed. Alan Ayckbourn believes none of these changes improved the play. Herington was fired shortly after the play opened having spent the venue's entire summer budget on just his two productions!
  • Love After All is a farce. It is one of only three pure full-length farces written by Alan Ayckbourn, of which only Taking Steps is available to produce. Although Alan feels there are some farcical elements in several other plays, he only considers The Square Cat, Love After All and Taking Steps to be true farces.
  • Love After All has never been published and is not available to produce; Alan withdrew it because he feels it comes from a period when he was learning his craft.
  • For many years, Alan Ayckbourn noted he had tried to destroy all surviving copies of the play and it was believed lost. In 2007, his archivist, Simon Murgatroyd - working alongside the British Library - discovered a copy in the Lord Chamberlain's collection at the British Library. It is believed this is the only extant surviving manuscript and its discovery led to the Ayckbourn play canon being restored for the first time since the play had been last performed in 1960.
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without the permission of the copyright holder.