Simon Murgatroyd

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist & Professional Writer


News & Events

Publications: World premiere articles & a new book
I've been busy with articles commissioned for the programmes for the world premiere of both of Alan Ayckbourn's 2022 plays: Family Album at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and All Lies at the Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere. In addition to this, the new edition of my book Unseen Ayckbourn has been confirmed for publication for summer 2022. It's completely revised and updated with lots of new material and I'll have more information on site soon.
Events: Absurd Person Singular 50th Anniversary
I'm delighted to have been invited to speak at the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 50th anniversary celebration of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular. I shall be giving a talk about the history of the play preceding a rehearsed reading of the play led by Alan Ayckbourn with some hand-picked actors. The playwright will then be involved in a Q&A. Tickets for my talk are £5 with the rehearsal priced at £35 / £15 and a special VIP ticket for the full day as well as a buffet dinner with Alan Ayckbourn and the company, priced at £80. Full details can be found here.
Events: Back in Business!
After the past two years which has been so challenging for us all - things appear to be, hopefully, getting back to normal. Which means I'm delighted to once again be involved in events. More details will be announced soon, but I've already been invited to give several talks relating to Alan Ayckbourn's 50th anniversary as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, the 50th anniversary of Alan Ayckbourn's famed play Absurd Person Singular as well as for his latest play. Check out Upcoming Events for more details.
Publication: The Girl Next Door
My article, Living In Lockdowns, has been published in the programme for the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's 85th play, The Girl Next Door, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. The article draws on interviews with the playwright on his memories of his childhood during World War II and how it influenced the play.
Research: In Conversation with Alan Ayckbourn
I provided research assistance for the filmed documentary In Conversation with Alan Ayckbourn, which debuted at the Big Ideas by the Sea festival in Scarborough during July 2021. The interview, conducted by Dr Paul Elsam, is now available to view for free on Official Alan Ayckbourn Website here.
Social Media: The Ayckbourn YouTube Channel
I've launched the official Ayckbourn YouTube Channel which features original content about Alan Ayckbourn, his career and plays as well as news updates and curated playlists of existing Ayckbourn-related videos. The channel is frequently updated with new material endorsed by Alan Ayckbourn and created by myself.
Website: The Official Ayckbourn YouTube Channel
Publication: Archiving Ayckbourn Blog
As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, I've been concentrating on producing more material for the Alan Ayckbourn - The Archivist's Blog. There are new articles on the blog each week looking at Alan Ayckbourn and the Stephen Joseph Theatre. This includes new articles by myself, articles and interviews with Alan Ayckbourn as well as some previously published but difficult to find articles.
Website: Alan Ayckbourn - The Archivist's Blog
Publication: Unseen Ayckbourn
Unseen Ayckbourn is now only available as the Illustrated Edition. The limited Anniversary Edition published during 2019 to mark Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut has sold out. Unseen Ayckbourn explores Ayckbourn's plays which have rarely been seen, withdrawn, lost or - occasionally - altered. It draws from unused or abandoned concepts and ideas as well as looking at variations of existing plays, alternative titles as well as other ephemera from the playwright's writing career. It also includes never previously published extracts from Ayckbourn's work as well as illustrations drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive. Unseen Ayckbourn: Illustrated Edition is priced at £12 and is available from amazon.co.uk, Lulu Books, amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
Website: Unseen Ayckbourn
Publication: Towards Ayckbournia in Germany
Available now
To mark Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday, the German Ayckbourn expert Albert-Reiner Glaap and publishers Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier have published the 'festschrift' Towards Ayckbournia in Germany, celebrating his work in Scarborough and his popularity in Germany. Having worked with Albert previously, I was honoured to be asked to contribute a piece to the publication entitled A Brief History Of Alan, giving a personal perspective of his work in Scarborough and how it has altered over the years.
Website: amazon.de
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New & Upcoming Events

Coming Soon
The latest edition of my book, Unseen Ayckbourn - 2022 Edition, will be published this summer with lots of new and updated material. Watch this space for more news!
Event
I'll be taking about the history of Alan Ayckbourn's play Absurd Person Singular as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the play on 26 June 2022. Click here for details.
Articles
I've written articles for the world premiere productions of Alan Ayckbourn's Family Album and All Lies in 2022. They'll be published in the respective programmes.
Events
I'm resuming talks in 2022 after a two-year hiatus for obvious reasons. I'll be giving a series of talks relating to Alan Ayckbourn's new work, the 50th anniversary of Absurd Person Singular and his work as Artistic Director of the SJT.
Articles
My article, Living in Lockdowns, has been published in the programme for the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's The Girl Next Door at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
Social Media
I've launched the official Ayckbourn YouTube Channel which features original about Alan Ayckbourn, his career and plays as well as news updates and curated playlists of existing Ayckbourn videos.
Research
I provided research assistance for an exclusive screened interview with Alan Ayckbourn which debuted at Scarborough's Big Ideas by the Sea festival during July 2021 and which is now available online here.
This Website
I've relaunched my website with new details and improvements to the website. Please explore the site further to find out more.
Out now
Unseen Ayckbourn: Illustrated Edition
My book exploring the unseen, unpublished and unwritten plays of Alan Ayckbourn.

All images & Material copyright of Simon Murgatroyd or Haydonning Ltd.
Contact Simon

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