Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia: F

59E59 Theaters: An Off-Broadway theatre venue in New York which has staged the New York premieres of a number of Alan Ayckbourn's plays during its annual Brits Off Broadway festival. This includes the critically acclaim and lauded North American premiere of Private Fears In Public Places during 2005.

Family Album: Alan Ayckbourn's 87th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 6 September 2022. The play is set in a family house in 1952, 1992 and 2022 with three generations of the same family in the same family home portrayed with action from the different time periods weaving in and out or taking place simultaneously in the same space, exploring how one generations actions impact the next.

Family Album (stream): Family Album was recorded during its world premiere run at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, directed by Alan Ayckbourn and performed in-the-round. It was streamed by the Stephen Joseph Theatre on its website during October and November 2022.

Family Circles: Alan Ayckbourn's 10th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 20 August 1970 (with the title The Story So Far...) and opened at the Orange Tree, Richmond, London, on 24 September 1978. The piece features a couple with three daughters, postulating how different partners might have changed their lives with each daughter getting a new partner with each act.

Family Plays: Alan Ayckbourn's canon includes a substantial number of plays for the family (as opposed to children's plays). Generally, the family plays deal with much the same issues as the adult plays, but have a younger protagonist and move at a brisker pace. The family plays are: Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays; Invisible Friends; This Is Where We Came In; Callisto 5; Callisto#7; My Very Own Story; The Musical Jigsaw Play; The Champion Of Paribanou; The Boy Who Fell Into A Book; Whenever; The Jollies; Orvin - Champion Of Champions; My Sister Sadie; Miss Yesterday.

Fancy Meeting You (The Norman Conquests): Original title for The Norman Conquests play Table Manners used for its world premiere at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1973.

Farce: Theatrical genre which Alan Ayckbourn is mistakenly said to be a major proponent of. Although frequently labelled as a farceur, Alan Ayckbourn considers he has only written one true full-length farce, Taking Steps. His other deliberate venture into the genre was with the two one-act plays known as Farcicals. He has written a couple of High Comedies, but the majority of his plays are tragi-comedies. For the record Bedroom Farce is not a farce - Alan just liked the title.

Farcicals: Two one-act farces - Chloë With Love and The Kidderminster Affair - premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 4 September 2013. The plays are loosely connected and feature the same characters, but are independent of each other and do not have to be seen together.

Father of Invention: One of the 'grey plays' (produced, but unpublished and not considered part of the official canon), Father of Invention is a full-length play written during 2020/2021 which was an extensive re-write of an earlier, unproduced play, Small Mercy (2019). The play was amended again in 2022 and 2023. Its only performance being a rehearsed reading at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on 15 September 2024.

Father's Day: 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. Father's Day was one of the titles briefly considered before he eventually settled on Relatively Speaking.

The Fearsome Threesome: A ghost story written by Alan Ayckbourn for the late night slot at the Stephen Jospeh Theatre In The Round from 29 December 1989 - 13 January 1990. A narrator tells a horrific tale of a the death by first of a couple culminating in the disfigured ghosts appearing to the horror of the narrator. It was essentially a showcase for a climatic 'Pepper's Ghost' illusion.

Films: There have been six films (for cinematic release) adapted from Alan Ayckbourn's plays. The duology Smoking / No Smoking (1993) by Alain Resnais which adapted Intimate Exchanges into two films; Coeurs (2006) by Alain Resnais, which adapted Private Fears In Public Places; Aimer, Boire et Chanter (2014) by Alain Resnais, which adapted Life Of Riley; A Chorus Of Disapproval (1989) by Michael Winner and The Revengers' Comedies - retitled Sweet Revenge in the USA (1998), which was produced by the BBC. Prior to his death, the director Alain Resnais was working on the unrealised script for his fourth Ayckbourn adaptation Arrivées Et Départs, based on Arrivals & Departures.

File On Ayckbourn: Publication on Alan Ayckbourn's plays edited by Malcolm Page and released by Methuen in 1989. It consists of a collection of press cutting extracts for the majority of his plays written between 1959 and 1988.

First Course: A musical revue by Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd premiered in the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 8 July 1980. The revue features ten songs which take a broad look at the ten decades between 1890 and 1980. The same season featured an unrelated companion piece, Second Helping.

Five To Five: An unused title considered for Confusions.

FlatSpin (Damsels In Distress): Alan Ayckbourn's 59th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 3 July 2001 and opened at the Duchess Theatre, London, on 7 September 2002. One of the Damsels In Distress trilogy, it sees a young woman inadvertently drawn into a police sting to catch a criminal, but no-one is quite as they appear.

FlatSpin (abandoned): Alan Ayckbourn began writing his two planned plays for the summer of 2001, GamePlan and FlatSpin, during Christmas 2000. Unusually, the ideas for both unconnected plays were ditched and a new idea used instead. There is no record of what the original FlatSpin concept was.

Floor 71: An incomplete treatment for a proposed television screenplay circa 1959. An hour-long drama set in the future where cities exist in huge tower blocks and the higher one lives, the greater the social standing.

Folk From T'Smoke: An unfinished concept from 1977 for a comedy-sketch screenplay based around a live music television show.

Follow The Lover: One of the Grey Plays (produced but unpublished), Follow The Lover is a one-act play by Alan Ayckbourn presented by Scarborough Theatre Guild in March 1962 at the Library Theatre, Scarborough. The play centres on an elderly married couple who each suspect the other of having an affair. Their individual hiring of young male and female private investigators only serving to re-enforce these mistaken beliefs. Follow The Lover is not available for production.

Foreseeable Futures: An early proposed title for Surprises, which features on early drafts of the script.

The Forest: An adaptation of Ostrovsky's play by Alan Ayckbourn premiered at the Lyttelton, National Theatre, London, on 28 January 1999. It is based on a translation of the original play by Vera Liber.

Fourplay: An as-yet unproduced play written by Alan Ayckbourn during 2021.

Freeman, Stephen: The Chief Executive of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 2016 to 2018.

Friedman, Sonia: Theatrical producer responsible for producing the Old Vic's acclaimed 2008 production of The Norman Conquests and its subsequent Broadway transfer as well as the 2012 West End revivals of Absent Friends and A Chorus Of Disapproval.

Front Row: BBC Radio 4's flagship arts programme on which Alan Ayckbourn has been featured many times most notably with major features / interviews in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2014.

Full-Length Plays: As of 2024, Alan Ayckbourn has written 90 produced full-length plays, the complete list of which can be found here.

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