Dad's Tale: Articles by Other AuthorsThis page contains articles on Dad's Tale by authors other than Alan Ayckbourn. The articles are the copyright of the respective author and should not be reproduced without permission.
by Stephen Joseph
Most of us, when we start talking about theatre, have clear ideas of what we mean by such words as "play" and "acting". It has been one of the particular interests of the Studio Theatre Company to re-examine some of the more familiar ideas, and see if we can improve on them. Of course, many people will get a shock when they see what we call a theatre (even though it is, at present, only a temporary set-up), but theatre in the round is already becoming an accepted notion….
But perhaps the most important part of our policy is the encouragement of new writers. We stage a larger proportion of new plays than most repertory companies. We are trying to find new writers, new forms of play and new techniques of dramaturgy. The play, Dad's Tale, for example, though it is simple enough in its obvious wish to entertain audiences in a light-hearted way, is unusual in that it was written specially for the two companies taking part in it. And it is unusual to write a play for two companies, especially when one of these is a company of dancers. The result is by no means a "musical" in the ordinary sense. This is something quite unique. You may like it; you may not. But you cannot see it anywhere else except here. No pundit from London is going to tell you whether it is good or bad; no critics are going to fill the national papers with important comments on it. This is a play written for you, as well as for us. It will succeed or fail, depending on your opinion and whether audiences come to see it or not.
This is, surely, a good idea?
Note: This was the programme note by Stephen Joseph for the world premiere production of Dad's Tale at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1960.
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.