Simon Murgatroyd

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist & Professional Writer

Books & Publications

This page contains details of published works I have written or contributed significantly to over the years.

My most notable work is
Unseen Ayckbourn, which has gone through several editions over the years including the new 2022 edition and a 'sold-out' limited edition 2019 run, and which was named as one of The Stage newspaper's 'best theatre books' during 2013.

I've also been responsible for two major celebration publications:
A Round 50 published by the Stephen Joseph Theatre to celebrate its 50th anniversary and Ayckbourn At 70 published by the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, to celebrate the 70th birthday of Alan Ayckbourn.

I've have worked closely with the German Ayckbourn expert Albert-Reiner Glaap and contributed to three of his five published works about the playwright.

I've also contributed numerous articles to other publications and programmes, details of which can be found on the
Articles page.

Publications by Simon Murgatroyd

Unseen Ayckbourn - 2022 Edition
Unseen Ayckbourn - 2022 Edition is the latest edition of Unseen Ayckbourn and explores Alan Ayckbourn's unpublished, withdrawn and unwritten plays and will be published during summer 2022.

Named as one of The Stage newspaper's 'best theatre books',
Unseen Ayckbourn: 2022 Edition examines Alan Ayckbourn's phenomenal career in theatre by exploring the plays which have rarely been seen, withdrawn, lost or - occasionally - altered.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 six decades of writing.

Extensively revised and substantially updated for 2022, it includes extracts from many of the works as well as extensive quotes by the playwright himself. The edition is notable for including details of several previously unpublicised plays written during the lockdowns of 2020 / 2021 as well as newly discovered material relating to the creation of
Absurd Person Singular.

Unseen Ayckbourn - 2022 Edition will be available from Lulu books and other online booksellers, priced at £15 this summer. More details to follow.
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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
Unseen Ayckbourn - Illustrated Edition
Until the latest edition of Unseen Ayckbourn is published, the previous edition Unseen Ayckbourn - Illustrated Edition (2017) is still available in softcover priced at £12. It is available from, Lulu Books, and Barnes & Noble. A PDF ebook is also available from Lulu Books priced at £9.

Signed copies at £15 (including P&P) can be ordered via this website (payment only accepted by paypal). For details, please email
A Round 50
A Round 50 was published to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Alan Ayckbourn's home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

It is an A4, full-colour, glossy 64 page publication which includes a year-by-year guide to highlights from the theatre's history, an article exploring the history of venues (and proposed venues) for the SJT as well as a listing for every production between 1955 and 2005. Fully illustrated, it is a comprehensive guide to the first five decades of the SJT.

Signed copies of
A Round 50 are available from this website priced at £5 including postage and packing. Payment can only be accepted by PayPal and please contact me with any enquiries.
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Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition (SOLD OUT)
Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition was a special limited edition of Unseen Ayckbourn marking the playwright's 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut in 2019.

Anniversary Edition was signed by the author and limited to just 50 copies; a record of the copies sold can be found here.
Ayckbourn At 70 (Sold Out)
The Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, celebrated Alan Ayckbourn's 70th birthday in 2009 with a season of productions and a celebration publication.

Ayckbourn At 70 was a A4, full-colour, glossy 60 page publication celebrated the life and work of Alan Ayckbourn with various articles covering Alan Ayckbourn's entire playwriting career, quotes for every play and was fully illustrated. I provided all the articles (with the exception of Paul Allen's introduction), research and illustrations.

Sadly, Ayckbourn At 70 is no longer available.

Other Contributions

I have contributed to several other significant publications regarding Alan Ayckbourn, most notably with the noted German Ayckbourn expert Albert-Reiner Glaap.

Towards Ayckbournia in Germany (2019)
This 'festschrift' celebrating the 80th birthday of Alan Ayckbourn includes my article
A Brief History of Alan.
Confusions To Roundelay: Stages In Ayckbourn's Creative Work (2015)
This book includes my article
Probable Fiction.
New Landmarks In Ayckbourn Country (2014)
This publication which explores Alan Ayckbourn's plays between 2004 and 2012 includes brief guides to the plays written by myself.

All these books are published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.
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