Alan Ayckbourn Encyclopaedia: H

Haileybury: Public boarding school near Hertford attended by Alan Ayckbourn (then called Haileybury and Imperial Service College). Most notable for introducing him to acting and a teacher, Edgar Matthews, who encouraged his passion for theatre.

Hall, Sir Peter: Former Artistic Director of the National Theatre, who first commissioned plays by Alan for the National Theatre. He also invited Alan to become a company director at the venue between 1986 and 1988. He notably described Alan as one of the most perceptive playwrights of the Thatcher era.

Hampstead: Alan Ayckbourn was born in Hampstead on 12 April 1939.

HARDtalk: A BBC World Service radio programme interviewing newsmakers and personalities from around the globe. Alan Ayckbourn has been featured twice in 2000 and 2011.

Hark At Barker: Television series featuring Ronnie Barker, which ran from 1969 to 1970, and for which Alan Ayckbourn wrote a number of sketches for both series under the pseudonym Peter Caulfield (this was due to his contract for the BBC which forbade him working for other companies).

Harrison Room: See Concert Room.

Haunting Julia (one act): Alan Ayckbourn's 47th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 20 April 1994 and opened at the Riverside Studios, London, on 27 May 2011. It is a one-act play, set in real-time and concerns a father, Joe, still struggling to cope with the death of his daughter Julia, a prodigal musical genius, years earlier. In her old student room, a psychic, her boyfriend and Joe unravel some unexpected answers and truths about Julia and her death. The play is considered a companion piece to the similarly themed supernatural play Snake In The Grass.

Haunting Julia (two act): Alan Ayckbourn revived Haunting Julia in 1999 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and inserted an interval at the behest of the theatre's finance department who felt bar takings had fallen during the original production. The second act repeats the last few seconds of the first act to emphasise the play is set in real time. Although the play has been produced in two acts, Alan's preference is for the play be presented in one act.

Haunting Julia (audio play): During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, Alan Ayckbourn recorded his 1994 play Haunting Julia as an audio play to be streamed by the Stephen Joseph Theatre throughout December 2020 and January 2021. The playwright directed, recorded and created the sound mix as well as performing all three male roles with Naomi Petersen playing the 'voices'

Henceforward...: Alan Ayckbourn's 34th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 30 July 1987 and opened at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on 21 November 1988 with Ian McKellen in the lead role. Set in a near dysfunctional future, it follows an estranged and isolated composer trying to compose a definitive work on love. When his estranged wife returns, he utilises a malfunctioning android to prove he's capable of looking after a daughter no longer the girl he remembers.

Henceforward... (alternative draft): Alan Ayckbourn was unhappy with the original draft of Henceforward... and just prior to the rehearsal period announced he would write an alternative play Meeting Like This instead. However, this was abandoned and Alan returned to Henceforward... apparently only changing the emphasis of the play slightly.

Henceforward... (audio drama): The play was adapted by the US based company LA Theatre Works and first broadcast on radio and via the internet on 1 January 2011, before being released as an audio book in March 2011. It featured Jared Harris and Anne Heche and was directed by Martin Jarvis.

Henceforward... (radio): The play was adapted for BBC radio by Jarvs & Ayres productions and first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 10 June 2012. It featured Jared Harris and Joanna Whalley and was directed by Martin Jarvis. Please note this is not the same production as the 2011 Audio drama. also directed by Martin Jarvis and starring Jared Harris.

Henceforward… (television): A television adaptation of Henceforward… was proposed during the early 1990s and a treatment for a series inspired by the play was written by the Emmy-nominated producer Dan Guntzelman. Paramount Studios was involved in the process but ultimately declined to go ahead with the project.

Herford, Robin: Prolific actor in Alan Ayckbourn's repertory companies between 1977 and 1987, premiering a number of major Ayckbourn characters. Now a respected director of Ayckbourn plays among others (including the world premiere and West End productions of Stephen Mallatratt's The Woman In Black), Robin was also the joint Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, during Alan Ayckbourn's sabbatical to the National Theatre between 1987 and 1988.

Hero's Welcome: Alan Ayckbourn's 79th play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 8 September 2015. After 17 years abroad in the armed forces, a war hero returns home to an official civic welcome. But people have long memories and his decision to settle down with his new bride stirs old resentments and rivalries putting him back in the firing line.

Her Side (The Westwoods): One of the two revues which comprise The Westwoods in which Robert's relationship with Patricia is examined through four decades.

High Comedy: Comedy of a sophisticated and witty nature, often satirising genteel society. Alan Ayckbourn's earliest hits, Relatively Speaking and How The Other Half Loves, are examples of High Comedy rather than the Farce genre they have been incorrectly associated with.

His Side (The Westwoods): One of the two revues which comprise The Westwoods in which Patricia's relationship with Robert is examined through four decades.

Holt, Michael: Regular designer for both the world premieres and revivals of Alan Ayckbourn's plays staged at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round and the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, between 1977 and the present day. Also the author of the book Alan Ayckbourn (Writers and their Works).

The Honeymoon: An unproduced play written by Alan Ayckbourn prior to the world premiere of his first play, The Square Cat, in 1959 of which no copies were believed to have survived until 2022 when Alan Ayckbourn's first wife donated a photocopy of the original manuscript to the Ayckbourn Archive.

Honorary Doctorates & Fellowships: Sir Alan Ayckbourn, CBE, has received Honorary Doctorates or Fellowships from the following universities: University of Hull (Hon. D. Litt.); Bretton Hall (Hon. Fellow); University of Keele (Hon. D. Litt.); University of Leeds (Hon. D. Litt); University of York (Doctor of the University); University of Bradford (Hon. D. Litt); University of Cardiff (Hon. Fellow); Open University (Doctor of the University); University of Manchester (Hon. D.Litt); York St John University (Hon. D. Litt); University of Coventry (Hon D. Litt).

Honours: Alan Ayckbourn was appointed a CBE in 1987 and was knighted for 'services to theatre' in 1997.

Hotel' play: An unrealised concept for an ambitious non-linear, multi-faceted play which would involve action taking place throughout the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, with audiences free to choose how and when they experienced the action.

House: One half of the House & Garden duology of plays, written to be performed simultaneously with Garden. It follows events in the Platt household over the weekend of a village fête, where Teddy Platt is being courted to become an MP.

A House Divided: One of several unused titles considered for Absent Friends.

House & Garden: Alan Ayckbourn's 54th and 55th plays premiered at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 17 June 1999 and opened at the National Theatre, London, on 23 September 2000. The plays are designed to be performed simultaneously in two auditoria with the same cast moving between the two plays. The plots loosely follow the events of a village fête in the grounds of Teddy Platt's house, whose life is unravelling whilst being courted to become an MP.

Howerd, Frankie: See Introduction for Frankie Howerd.

How The Other Half Loves: Alan Ayckbourn's 9th play premiered at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 31 July 1969 and opened at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 5 July 1970. One of Alan's most famous plays, it was also his first to open on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on 29 March 1971 with Phil Silvers starring. Featuring a composite set of two over-laid flats, it follows the misunderstandings caused by a couple having an affair and covering their tracks using an innocent third party.

How The Other Half Loves (London): The London production of How The Other Half Loves was an early success for Alan Ayckbourn, but its star Robert Morley insisted on improvising and changing the role of Frank Foster to how he perceived it should be played. As such, the London production was rarely a faithful representation of the original play despite its huge success.

Hughes, Mick: Regular lighting designer for both the world and London premieres of Alan Ayckbourn's plays from the London premiere of A Chorus Of Disapproval in 1985 to Neighbourhood Watch at the Stephen Joseph Theatre during 2011.

Hughes, Sarah: Alan Ayckbourn's casting director since 1992.

Hytner, Nicholas: Artistic Director of the National Theatre until 2015. Two Ayckbourn plays were staged during his tenure as Artistic Director: a revival of Season's Greetings, directed by Marianne Elliott, in 2010 and a revival of A Small Family Business, directed by Adam Penford, in 2014.

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