Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia: R

Radio: A frequently over-looked aspect of Alan Ayckbourn's career is the impact of radio on his life. Between 1964 and 1970, Alan Ayckbourn worked as a radio drama producer for the BBC, based in Leeds. There he worked closely with Alfred Bradley, who would be another important figure in his life. Aside from this, radio has been the most prolific multi-media adaptor of Alan Ayckbourn's plays - the majority of which have been produced by the BBC (see below for details).

Radio Adaptations: There have been more than 20 adaptations of Alan Ayckbourn's plays for the radio, mostly adapted by the BBC. These adaptations are: Absent friends; Absurd Person Singular; Bedroom Farce; By Jeeves; Confusions (three adaptations); Henceforward...; Intimate Exchanges; Joking Apart; Just Between Ourselves (two adaptations); Man Of The Moment (two adaptations); The Norman Conquests (two adaptions); Relatively Speaking; The Revengers' Comedies; Season's Greetings (two adaptations); A Small Family Business; Things We Do For Love; Way Upstream; Whenever; Woman In Mind (two adaptations).

Ramsay, Margaret: Renowned literary agent, who represented Alan Ayckbourn from 1964 until her death on 4 September 1991. Since then, Alan has remained with the Casarotto Ramsay agency which was formed in 1992 following her death.

Relatively Speaking: Alan Ayckbourn's 7th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 8 July 1965 (with the title Meet My Father) and opened at the Duke Of York's Theatre, London, on 29 March 1967. It is a High Comedy in which Ginny goes to the house of her older lover in order to end a relationship and retrieve some compromising letters. Matters are complicated when her current partner also turns up and meets the wife of the lover leading to misunderstanding and confusion.

Relatively Speaking (radio): The play was adapted for radio by BBC Radio and first broadcast on 25 December 1975 on BBC Radio 4. The production was directed by Kay Patrick and featured Michael Aldridge as Philip and Rosemary Leach as Sheila. It was also made available commercially on an audio-cassette with Season's Greetings.

Relatively Speaking (screenplay): In the early 1970s, Alan Ayckbourn turned his hand to a film screenplay of Relatively Speaking, but the screenplay was never produced.

Relatively Speaking (television - 1967): The first ever television broadcast of an Alan Ayckbourn play took place on 21 July 1967 when BBC1 broadcast a 50 minute excerpt from the recently-opened West End production of Relatively Speaking starring Celia Johnson and Michael Hordern. The programme has not survived in archive.

Relatively Speaking (television - 1969): The play was adapted for television by the BBC and first broadcast on 2 March 1969 on BBC1. The production was directed by Herbert Wise and featured Donald Sinden as Philip and Celia Johnson reprising her West End role of Sheila and ran to 90 minutes.

Relatively Speaking (television - 1989): The play was again adapted for television by the BBC and broadcast on 24 December 1989 on BBC2. The production was directed by Michael Simpson and featured Nigel Hawthorne as Philip.

Relative Values: An unproduced and unpublished play written under the pseudonym Roland Allen circa 1958. Probably intended for performance by amateur drama groups, it is a comedy about a family preparing for a visit from an abrasive aunt from America and how she forces them to re-evaluate their lives. It is held in the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York and is not available for production.

Repercussions: The second act of Alan Ayckbourn's 80th play, Consuming Passions, which premiered on 12 August 2016 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Although a single play, it was written so the two acts could be performed separately (although they do need to be both seen and in the correct order for the play to make sense).

Resnais, Alain: Alain Resnais (1922 - 2014) was an acclaimed and award-winning French film-director who was a long-time fan of Alan Ayckbourn's plays and adapted three of them into films. Smoking / No Smoking (1994) adapted Intimate Exchanges; Coeurs (2006) adapted Private Fears In Public Places; Aimer, Boire et Chanter (2014) adapted from Life Of Riley in 2014. The films have been critically acclaimed and Smoking / No Smoking won several major award including the César for Best Film. Resnais was also awarded the prestigious Venice Film Festival's Silver Lion for Coeurs and the Silver Bear Albert Bauer prize for Aimer, Boire et Chanter at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014. At the time of his death he was working on the script for a fourth Ayckbourn adaptation, Arrivées Et Départs, based on Arrivals & Departures.

The Revengers' Comedies: Alan Ayckbourn's 37th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 13 June 1989 and opened at the Strand Theatre, London, on 16 & 17 October 1991. The play has two parts which are separate plays but do need to be seen in order (and are considered to be a single play). They are about two suicidal strangers who meet on London's Albert Bridge where they decide to swap revenges.

The Revengers' Comedies (radio): The play was adapted for radio by BBC Radio and first broadcast - in two parts as written - on 1 and 8 June 1996 on BBC Radio 4. The production was directed by Gordon House and featured Lia Williams as Karen Knightley and Jon Strickland as Henry Bell.

The Revengers' Comedies (film / television): The play was made into a film, which was produced by the BBC, having a limited cinema run before being broadcast on British television on 30 December 1999. The production was directed by Malcolm Mowbray and featured Sam Neill as Henry Bell and Helena Bonham Carter as Karen Knightley. It is also notable for compressing two plays with a running time of approximately five hours into an 82 minute film.

Revues: Alan Ayckbourn has written a number of revues and musical entertainments since 1978 with Paul Todd and latterly with Denis King. The revues are (all with Paul Todd, except where noted): Men On Women On Men; First Course; Second Course; Me, Myself And I; Incidental Music; The 7 Deadly Virtues; The Westwoods; Boy Meets Girl; Girl Meets Boy; Mere Soup Songs; Cheap And Cheerful (with Denis King).

Roland, Christine: Alan Ayckbourn's first wife, whom he married on 9 May 1959 and divorced in 1997. Due to the intentional timing of the divorce following his knighthood, both Christine and his second wife, Heather Stoney, have the title Lady Ayckbourn.

RolePlay: Alan Ayckbourn's 60th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 4 September 2001 and opened at the Duchess Theatre, London, on 7 September 2002. One of the Damsels In Distress trilogy, it sees a feisty young woman literally dropping in on an engaged couple, whose parents are about to meet for the first time and the clash of cultures which follows.

Ron & Julie: One of the Grey Plays (produced but unpublished), this is a one-act play sketch written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1991 for the National Theatre as a showcase for the light, sound and effects departments. Ron & Julie is not available for production.

Rotherham Civic Theatre: The theatre where Alan Ayckbourn gave his last professional performance as an actor in Two For The Seesaw, opposite his future wife Heather Stoney.

The Round: The main space at the Stephen Joseph Theatre where Alan Ayckbourn premieres the majority of his new plays and for which staging they are written. The auditorium seats 406 people and, when built, was unique in the UK as being an in-the-round stage whose acting space was built on a stage lift (allowing quick change of plays in repertory and sets to be built up from a dropped stage) and having an innovative lighting mesh that allows complete and easy access at all times to the lighting grid.

Round And Round The Garden (The Norman Conquests): Alan Ayckbourn's 16th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 25 June 1973 and opened at the Globe Theatre, London, on 21 May 1974. One part of The Norman Conquests trilogy, this is set in the garden with Norman's attentions focussed largely on Annie.

Roundelay: Alan Ayckbourn's 78th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 9 September 2014. The play consists of five one-act plays (The Agent, The Judge, The Novelist, The Politician, The Star) which can be seen in any order - picked at random prior to the performance. All the plays are inter-related and the order they are seen in affects the perceptions of each play and the characters.

A Round Town: Sister website to Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website looking at the history of theatre in the round in Scarborough and the contribution of theatre in the round, Alan Ayckbourn and Stephen Joseph to the cultural heritage and history of the town.

Royal Air Force: See National Service.

Original research for the The Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia section is by Simon Murgatroyd and copyright of the author.