Dad's Tale: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Dad's Tale.

Why is Dad's Tale attributed to Roland Allen rather than Alan Ayckbourn?
Alan Ayckbourn wrote his first four plays under the pseudonym Roland Allen. Although the original reason for this was to reflect the fact he co-wrote his first play, The Square Cat, with his first wife, Christine Roland, she played no part in the writing of Dad's Tale. However, since he had become his writing career under the pseudonym, he obviously decided to keep it to differentiate between his acting career (under his own name) and his writing career.

Why isn't Dad's Tale available to be performed? / Why hasn't Dad's Tale been published?
Alan Ayckbourn considers his earliest plays to be his first steps as a playwright when he was learning his craft. As a result, he doesn't feel they particularly reflect the quality or standard of writing he would later achieve and do not stand up particularly well due to his inexperience as a writer. As a result, he has never allowed them to be performed again and has not published the plays.

Where can I read the play for research purposes?
Original manuscripts for Dad's Tale are held by both the British Library and the Ayckbourn Archive at the University of York.

Why is Dad's Tale not classed as one of Alan Ayckbourn's 'family' plays?
The 'family' plays are a series of full-length p[lays written by Alan Ayckbourn between 1988 and 2004, starting with Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays. These plays were deliberately written to reflect not just a children's audience but a family audience in that Alan hoped the plays would appeal to all members of a family from children to adult; whereas Dad's Tale was written specifically as a children's play for Christmas. Also, as Dad's Tale has not been published or made available to produce, there is little point in grouping it with a collection of plays which were written within a concentrated period of time with the intention of being 'family' plays and which are all available to produce.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.