Love After All: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Love After All.

Why is Love After All attributed to Roland Allen rather than Alan Ayckbourn?
Alan Ayckbourn wrote his first four plays under the pseudonym Roland Allen and the reasons are two-fold. In the case of The Square Cat, it was to reflect the fact he co-wrote the play with his first wife, Christine Roland; the name is an amalgam of Christine's surname (Roland) and Alan's Christian name (Allen). The second reason is that Alan was an established actor with the Library Theatre company in Scarborough by this time and the pseudonym differentiated him as a writer from his established role as an actor.

Why isn't Love After All available to be performed? / Why hasn't Love After All been published?
Alan Ayckbourn considers his earliest plays to be his first steps as a playwright when he was learning his craft. As a result, he doesn't feel they particularly reflect the quality or standard of writing he would later achieve and do not stand up particularly well due to his inexperience as a writer. As a result, he has never allowed them to be performed again and has not published the plays. For researchers interested in the early plays, they are available to read at both the British Library and within the Ayckbourn Archive at the University of York.

Which of the two versions of Love After All is considered canonical?
This question raises difficulty purely by virtue that the second version of the play does not exist. No surviving copies of the play are believed to have survived from the 1960 revival at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, which saw the play moved to a contemporary setting. However, Alan Ayckbourn has long since spoken about his dis-satisfaction with the revised version of the play and combined with the fact, the earlier version of the play is the only one in archive, the original 1959 version of the play is considered the defintive and canonical version of the play.

Where can I see the play for research purposes?
The only original manuscript in existence for Love After All is held by the British Library in the Lord Chamberlain's Collection. Anyone interested in seeing the sole existing manuscript can arrange to view it on site at the British Library in London. A copy of the British Library manuscript is also held in the Ayckbourn Archive at the University of York.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.