Simon Murgatroyd - Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist & Professional Writer

News & Events

Publication: Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition
Updated: Just 19 copies left. Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition has been published to mark the Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut. Limited to just 50 copies, each edition is numbered and signed by the author (with a record held on Alan Ayckbourn's website of each edition and owner). Updated for 2019, it includes new and expanded entries on plays which have rarely been seen, withdrawn, lost or - occasionally - altered.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 and a new essay exploring the significance of the playwright and his plays. Unseen Ayckbourn: Anniversary Edition is priced at £15 (plus P&P) and available exclusively from this and Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.
Website: Unseen Ayckbourn
Event: Ayckbourn Film Festival
20 - 22 September, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
The first Ayckbourn Film Festival is taking place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 20 - 22 September and I'll be introducing a number of the films. The festival will mark what is believed to be the first time the classic BBC adaptations of Absent Friends and Absurd Person Singular will be shown on the big screen, alongside the award-winning films by Alain Resnais, Smoking / No Smoking and Private Fears in Public Places.
Website: Stephen Joseph Theatre
Exhibition: The Woman in Black at the Stephen Joseph Theatre
The Woman In Black may be celebrating 30 years in the West End this year, but it actually dates back to 1987 when it was commissioned by and premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough. This small exhibition I have curated for the Archive Corridor at the Stephen Joseph Theatre looks at some of the items held in archive relating to the world premiere of the play and its two subsequent revivals in Scarborough.
Article: Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present
I'm delighted to have been asked to contribute an article for the programme for the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. The article, About Time, looks at how Ayckbourn uses time within his writing and accompanies the playwright's own article, Welcome to Ecraf. The programme will be available throughout the run of the play.
Website: The Woman in Black & other plays highlighted in new feature
Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website inow has a new feature highlighting some of the key plays produced at the Stephen Joseph Theatre since 1955. Last year, a major new section of the website was produced looking at the history of the SJT and this new section highlights some of the key non-Ayckbourn works produced by Alan's home theatre. The Woman in Black - which originated in Scarborough - is the first play to come under the spotlight.
Website: The Woman in Black at Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website
Event: Inner Circle Event 2019 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre
28 September - 2 October, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
I'm once again involved with the Inner Circle event at the Stephen Joseph Theatre which offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse at Alan Ayckbourn's adopted home theatre. Participants get the chance to see productions, meet the people behind them, have unique experiences with VIP tickets to Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday event, 80 Years Young. I'll be giving a talk on my work as an Archivist as well as helping behind-the-scenes!
Website: Stephen Joseph Theatre
Publication: Towards Ayckbournia in Germany
Available now
To mark Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday, the German Ayckbourn expert 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
Publication: Unseen Ayckbourn: Illustrated Edition
Unseen Ayckbourn: Illustrated Edition is now available and, for the first time, includes illustrations drawn from material held in the Ayckbourn Archive. The book looks at 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. Unseen Ayckbourn is priced at £12 and available from amazon.co.uk, Lulu Books, amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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