Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia: D

Dad's Tale: Alan Ayckbourn's 3rd play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 19 December 1960. It was a co-production with the British Dance Drama Theatre. The plot involves several scenes revolving around a poor family's dreams for happier times.  Alan wrote the play under the pseudonym Roland Allen which has been withdrawn from production by the playwright and has never been published.

Damsels In Distress: Collective title for Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy of plays written in 2001: GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay.

Damsels In Distress (collection): Collected edition of the Damsels In Distress trilogy scripts, published in 2002 by Faber.

Dawn: Alan Ayckbourn's first work to be professionally published was actually a poem he wrote at the age of 15 called Dawn. It was printed in the December 1954 edition of Collins' Young Elizabethan magazine.

Deadly Virtues (television): Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd's 1984 revue The 7 Deadly Virtues was recorded for television by BBC North and first broadcast on 2 March 1984 on BBC1. The production was directed by Alan Ayckbourn and featured the original company from the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round production.

Dear Uncle: An adaptation of Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya by Alan Ayckbourn, written in 2009 for a commission by David Pugh for the West End, but actually premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 12 July 2011. Although closely following the plot of the original play, the action is transposed to the Lake District in 1935 and the character of Sonya is altered to a 16 year-old girl.

December Bee (Woman In Mind): Alternative title / subtitle for Woman In Mind. It echoes Susan's confused words as she breaks down in the play: 'Remember me'.

Desert Island Discs: The popular radio series featured Alan Ayckbourn as a guest on 2 November 1974. His disc choices were: Benjamin Britten - The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra; Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto For Oboe and Violin in C Minor; Miles Davies - Flamenco Sketches; Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev - Cinderella; Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman - Where Or When; Konrad Ragossnig & Ulsamer Collegium Welscher Tanz Wacher Mesa; Pink Floyd - Eclipse; Camille Saint Saens - Angus Dei.

Dick & Lottie: Dick & Lottie is a Huddersfield-based theatre company dedicated to the work of Alan Ayckbourn. Launched as an amateur company in 2004 before turning professional during 2018, the company has performed more than 40 of Alan Ayckbourn's plays. Notably, Dick & Lottie is the only company to have received permission to perform his early plays Standing Room Only and The Sparrow since they were withdrawn during the late 1960s.

Digital publications: A number of Alan Ayckbourn's have been published in digital ebook format either singularly or as part of collections.

Director: Alan Ayckbourn considers himself primarily a director rather than a writer. His directing career began at the Library Theatre in 1961 and he has directed the world premiere of all his plays since 1967 and the majority of his London premieres since 1977. He has directed more than 350 productions during his career.

Director Emeritus: On 20 April 2018, Alan Ayckbourn was appointed Director Emeritus of the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Director Emeritus is an honorary accolade which denotes the perpetual status of an individual who has moved an organisation to new heights. It recognises more than six decades work with the company and his many contributions and achievements with it.

Director Of Productions: Alan Ayckbourn was the Director of Productions at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1969 and 1970. This was a seasonal post appointed each year by the board of the theatre. Although he shared similar responsibilities, Alan Ayckbourn was not Artistic Director of the venue at this point, only assuming that role in 1972.

The Divide: Alan Ayckbourn's first published novel. The Divide is a work of prose fiction written during 2015 - but only published ruing 2019 - set in a post-catastrophic England where men and women are kept separated by The Divide. The novel was initially revealed to the public at a special gala reading in five parts at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 27 September 2015. The novel, published by PS Publishing, was launched at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 12 September 2019.

The Divide (Edinburgh International Festival): Prior to publication during 2019, Alan Ayckbourn's novel The Divide was adapted and directed for the stage by Annabel Bolton, Associate Director at the Old Vic. The adaptation was premiered at Edinburgh International Festival on 8 October 2017 as a two-part, six-hour staged, multi-media work.

The Divide (The Old Vic): The West End premiere of Annabel Bolton's adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn's novel The Divide took place at the Old Vic on 1 February 2018. Again directed by Annabel Bolton, this streamlined the Edinburgh International Festival adaptation into a single-part work with Annabel having consulted with the playwright on streamlining the adaptation.

Dividing Line: One of several unused titles considered for Absent Friends.

Dorcas (Sisterly Feelings): Although the play Sisterly Feelings has four possible permutations, only two are generally named - Abigail and Dorcas. It is common when the play is performed without the random elements for either and / or both of these permutations to be presented.

Double Hitch: One of the Grey Plays (produced but unpublished), Double Hitch is a one act play by Alan Ayckbourn first officially presented in March 1962 at The Library Theatre, Scarborough. Anecdotal evidence suggests it may have been performed without a performance license as early as 1960. The play concerns two couples who find themselves double-booked on their honeymoons in a decrepit holiday cottage. Double Hitch is not available to produce.

Dracula: One of the Grey Plays (produced but unpublished), Dracula is a one-act sketch which formed part of the revue What The Devil! and was presented on tour and at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round during 1975. The comedy sketch sees Dracula and his henchman Lurch visiting a farm and meeting the farmer, his wife and an unusual daughter beneath a full moon. Dracula is not available for production.

Dreams From A Summer House: Alan Ayckbourn's 45th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 26 August 1992. It was Alan Ayckbourn's first musical collaboration with the composer John Pattison. It is a contemporary spin on the Beauty And The Beast fairy-tale in which Beauty finds herself in contemporary suburbia, unable to communicate except through song. Without the love of the Beast, Baldemar, and away from her realm, she cannot survive but Baldemar has his hands full with the kidnapped, bullying divorcee Amanda.

Dreams From A Summer House (concept): The original synopsis for Dreams From A Summer House is markedly different from the actual musical featuring a writer rather than an artist, with the play set in reality, the pages of an unwritten 'noir' novel as well as a musical based on Beauty And The Beast.

Dreams From A Summer House (original cast recording): A recording of the original production was published on audio-cassette and made available for the duration of the run from the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round.

Drinking Companion (Confusions): One of the five one-act plays which comprise Confusions. A salesman at a hotel bar finds himself the subject of attention from two attractive women. But who is charming and scamming who?

Drowning On Dry Land: Alan Ayckbourn's 66th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 4 May 2004 and opened at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London, on 22 February 2011. Charlie has become a celebrity purely on the back of being useless. At his country-home, his entire celebrity life is about to come crashing down when an investigative journalist and an amorous clown visit, proving how fickle fame can be.

Dunn-Mines, Katherine: Executive assistant to Sir Alan and Lady Ayckbourn.

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