Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia: T

Table Manners (The Norman Conquests): Alan Ayckbourn's 13th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 18 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 dining room with Norman's attentions focused largely on Sarah.

Take It Or Leave It: Original proposed title for A Small Family Business, abandoned before contracts were signed for the play at the National Theatre.

Taken For Granted: Alternative title for Relatively Speaking. After the play opened as Meet My Father at The Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1965, Alan decided to alter the title. Taken For Granted was one of the titles briefly considered before he eventually settled on Relatively Speaking.

Taking Steps: Alan Ayckbourn's 24th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 28 September 1979 and opened at the Duke Of York's Theatre, London, on 2 September 1980. This is Alan Ayckbourn's only attempt at a full-length true farce; written and intended for the in-the-round, the farcical element of doors are replaced by floors with all three floors of a building present on the same level.

A Talk In The Park (Confusions): One of the five one-act plays which comprise Confusions. A short play in which five people sit on park benches delivering monologues regarding their lives. The dying fall of Confusions, it is occasionally - and incorrectly - omitted so the play ends with Gosforth's Fête rather than the more downbeat, but essential, A Talk In The Park.

Taylor, Jason: Lighting designer and frequent collaborator with Alan Ayckbourn since 2004. He is responsible for the lighting designs for the world premieres of plays such as Awaking Beauty, Life Of Riley and Surprises and has also worked with the playwright on revivals of his plays.

Television: Alan Ayckbourn has only written for television once with the screenplay for Service Not Included. However, his plays have frequently been adapted for television (increasingly in European countries). The plays adapted for British television are: Absent Friends; Absurd Person Singular; Bedroom Farce; By Jeeves; Countdown; A Cut In The Rates; Ernie's Incredible Illucinations; Just Between Ourselves; Living Together; Men On Women On Men; Relatively Speaking (adapted twice); The Revengers' Comedies; Round And Round The Garden; Season's Greetings; Table Manners; Time And Time Again; Way Upstream.

The Ten Magic Bridges: A play for young people presented in 10 parts at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 5 July 2003. Young Princess Elysia has wandered away from the safety of the castle; only with the help of the audience and her faithful Clever Cat will she be able to cross ten magic bridges in order to get back home.

Ten Times Table: Alan Ayckbourn's 21st play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 18 January 1977 and opened at the Globe Theatre, London, on 5 April 1978. It follows the increasingly rancorous attempts of a committee to organise a festival celebrating the 'Pendon Twelve' rebellion, culminating in a re-enactment that mirrors the original event all too closely. This was the first new Ayckbourn play to be premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round.

Ten Times Table (abandoned): Alan Ayckbourn made substantial progress on the original script for the play before abandoning it to start again; although the plot apparently remained the same, the original concept saw the action moving between several locations rather than being set solely in a committee room.

Theatre-in-the-round: Theatre-in-the-round or arena staging is a performance space where the acting space is entirely surrounded by the audience. It has been argued this is both the purest form of theatre and oldest form of theatre. Alan Ayckbourn has written the vast majority of his plays for theatre-in-the-round, where they are initially produced.

Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: The home to the country's first professional theatre in the round company, created by Stephen Joseph in 1955; the title is generally - and inaccurately - contracted to the Library Theatre. Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was based on the first-floor concert room at Scarborough Public Library and was home to the company between 1955 and 1976 before it moved to the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round. Alan Ayckbourn became the Artistic Director of the venue in 1972.

Theatre in the Round at Westwood: The original name for the second home of what is now the Stephen Joseph Theatre. After the company left the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1976, they moved to the former Westwood County Modern School and the building was called Theatre In The Round At Westwood; possibly due to the fact this was not intended to be a permanent relocation. Two years later, the theatre was renamed the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round with the company being based there until 1996.

Things That Go Bump: In 2008, the Stephen Joseph Theatre presented a season of Alan Ayckbourn's three supernatural-themed plays called the Things That Go Bump season. Unfortunately, it has since occasionally been incorrectly assumed and inaccurately reported this is the collective title of the three plays, despite the fact Alan Ayckbourn himself has never referred to them by this title nor considers them a trilogy. To emphasise, there is no such thing as Alan Ayckbourn's Things That Go Bump trilogy.

Things We Do For Love: Alan Ayckbourn's 51st play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 29 April 1997 and opened at the Gielgud Theatre, London, on 3 March 1998. It was specifically written for the end-stage and follows Nikki and her fiancée Hamish moving in with Nikki's school-friend Barbara. Her instant distaste for Hamish hiding feelings that could destroy a friendship and have repercussions for everyone including the downstairs lodger and his unrequited love for Barbara.

Things We Do For Love (radio): The play was adapted for radio by the BBC World Service and featured Joanna Van Gyseghem, Teresa Gallagher, Cameron Stewart and Gavin Muir. Its date of broadcast is not known.

This Is Where We Came In (1990): Alan Ayckbourn's 40th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 4 & 11 August 1990. The play was originally in two parts and premiered as a Saturday morning entertainment for children. The Players gather to tell their stories under the watchful eyes of the decrepit Storytellers. Forced to perform twisted fairy-tales, can they escape their servitude with the help of the legendary Flavius?

This Is Where We Came In (1991): The success of the original production of This Is Where We Came In led to Alan Ayckbourn merging the two parts into a single play which was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 21 November 1991.

Thompson, Eric: Noted director and writer (1929 - 1982) who produced many of the early West End successes of Alan Ayckbourn's plays - and his most notorious flop. He was responsible for directing the London premieres of Time And Time Again; Absurd Person Singular; The Norman Conquests; Absent Friends and the musical Jeeves.

Three Plays (collection): A collection of Alan Ayckbourn's plays published by Vintage Classics; originally published by Chatto & Windus and later Penguin. This collects the texts for Absurd Person Singular, Absent Friends and Bedroom Farce.

Tidy, Michelle: Alan Ayckbourn's first full-time casting director.

Time And Time Again: Alan Ayckbourn's 11th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 8 July 1971 and opened at the Comedy Theatre, London, on 16 August 1972. Ambivalent and largely useless school teacher Leonard disrupts four lives through his apathy and a woman who is attracted to him, but is already engaged to a second man, whilst lusted after by a third.

Time And Time Again (television): The play was adapted for television by Anglia Television and first broadcast on 18 May 1976 on ITV. The production was directed by Casper Wrede and featured most of the West End cast including Tom Courtenay as Leonard. It is not believed to have survived in any form.

Time Of My Life: Alan Ayckbourn's 44th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 21 April 1992 and opened at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on 23 August 1993. The play runs in three time-streams originating at a family birthday party in a restaurant which has a tragic conclusion. The real-time events of the party are interwoven with the events leading up to the night (played out backwards over the course of weeks) and subsequent events (played out over months).

Todd, Paul: Composer and collaborator with Alan Ayckbourn. Paul Todd collaborated with Alan Ayckbourn on two full length musicals - Suburban Strains and Making Tracks - as well as 10 revues. He also provided incidental music for the world premiere of many of Alan Ayckbourn's plays between 1979 and 1988.

Todd On Ayckbourn On Song A revue by Paul Todd which featured songs by himself and Alan Ayckbourn. The revue was a prelude to Todd's later similarly themed work Between The Lines and had no involvement with Alan Ayckbourn other than the use of his songs. The revue was originally based around the concept of a composer working with Alan Ayckbourn under the tentative title Ayckbourn On Song.

Tons Of Money: An adaptation of Will Evans and Valentine's farce by Alan Ayckbourn, which was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 11 November 1985. He later revived it at the Lyttelton, National Theatre, London, from 6 November 1986.

Tony Awards: The first Ayckbourn play to win a Tony Award (for productions on Broadway) was The Old Vic's 2008 revival of The Norman Conquests which transferred to Broadway in 2009. It won the award for Best Revival Of A Play. Previously Alan had been nominated in 1979 for the Broadway transfer of the National Theatre's production of Bedroom Farce, which was nominated for Best Play and Outstanding Direction (Alan Ayckbourn and Peter Hall). In 2010, Alan Ayckbourn was awarded the prestigious Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Towards Ayckbournia in Germany: A 'festschrift' by Albert-Reiner Glaap published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier to celebrate Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday during 2019.

Tragicomedy: Genre of drama which mixes comedy and tragedy and into which the vast majority of Alan Ayckbourn's plays fall. Although often described wrongly as a farceur, Alan Ayckbourn virtually defined the modern British tragi-comedy tradition with scores of plays since the early 1970s beginning with plays such as Time And Time Again and Absurd Person Singular.

Translations: Alan Ayckbourn's work is performed around the world and his plays have been translated into at least 35 languages.

Trilogies: Alan Ayckbourn has specifically written two trilogies: The Norman Conquests (comprising Living Together, Table Manners and Round And Round The Garden) and Damsels In Distress (comprising GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay).

A Trip To Scarborough (1982): An adaptation of R.B. Sheridan's play by Alan Ayckbourn, which was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 8 December 1982. The most extensive of his adaptations, Ayckbourn kept the bare bones of Sheridan's plot and interwove it with two plots of his own set during World War II and contemporary Scarborough. All scenes take place in the foyer of the Royal Hotel, Scarborough.

A Trip To Scarborough (2007): Alan Ayckbourn further revised A Trip To Scarborough for its revival at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 11 December 2007. The revisions were largely kept to the contemporary scenes to incorporate mobile phones and to move the action to a generic hotel.

True Life Fiction: One of several unused titles considered for Improbable Fiction.

Truth Will Out (2020): One of the 'grey plays' (produced, but unpublished and not considered part of the official canon), Truth Will Out is a full-length play written during 2019 which was intended to premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, during summer 2020, but was cancelled due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Its only performance was a rehearsed reading at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 17 September 2023. The play concerns a teenage boy and how his attempts to hack into a diary have local, then national and, ultimately, global ramifications.

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