Dad's Tale: In Brief

Key Facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Dad's Tale.
  • Dad's Tale is Alan Ayckbourn's third play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 19 December, 1960.
  • Dad's Tale is credited to Roland Allen; a pseudonym used by Alan Ayckbourn for his earliest plays. Although derived from a combination of both his and his first wife Christine Roland's name, unlike his first two plays The Square Cat and Love After All, Christine was not involved in the writing of Dad's Tale.
  • Dad's Tale is the first of Alan Ayckbourn's family plays - although combined with the failure of Christmas V Mastermind in 1962, Alan gave up writing plays for this audience for the next 26 years! However, his success with Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays in 1988 and subsequent plays has led him to become a passionate advocate of writing for young people and family audiences.
  • The play was conceived by Stephen Joseph - Artistic Director of the Library Theatre - as a collaboration between his two resident writers, David Campton and Alan Ayckbourn. However, this collaboration was only brief and Campton dropped out of the project.
  • Dad's Tale was also supposed to be an adaptation of Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers - which David Campton had begun working on. Alan took the play in a different direction though and only the presence of the 'Tinies' - fairy-like creatures who steal household items - links the play to The Borrowers.
  • It is Alan Ayckbourn's only attempt at writing a play incorporating ballet! After Alan had accepted the commission to write the play, Stephen Joseph casually let slip he had arranged for the British Dance Drama Theatre to be involved and Alan would need to incorporate balletic scenes into the play!
  • The play marked the first time the Australian actor Stanley Page would work with Alan Ayckbourn and appear in an Ayckbourn play. He would go on to become an important part of Alan Ayckbourn's Scarborough company during the 1970s and appeared in the world premieres of The Norman Conquests, Confusions, Bedroom Farce and Sisterly Feelings.
  • It is the first Ayckbourn play to offer multiple perspectives of a single situation and the first Ayckbourn play in which a character breaks the 'fourth wall' to speak directly to the audience.
  • Dad's Tale has never been published and is not available to produce; Alan withdrew it because he feels it comes from a period when he was learning his craft.
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