A Brief History Of Women: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's A Brief History Of Women
  • A Brief History Of Women is Alan Ayckbourn's 81st play.
  • The world premiere was held on 5 September, 2017, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
  • The New York premiere will be held on 1 May 2018 at the 59e59 Theaters, New York, as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival.
  • The playwright originally considered calling the play On The House before choosing A Brief History of Women.
  • It was not the play originally commissioned by the SJT. This was a piece called A Case Of Missing Wives, which Alan wrote but then wrote another play too. The SJT was offered both plays and chose A Brief History Of Women.
  • Early notes for the play differed significantly from the final play including different character names, an affair with a head-girl rather than a teacher in the second scene and no appearance of the grand-children in the final scene of the play.
  • The play is set in a single location, a manor house which later becomes a girls' school, arts centre and hotel.
  • The play spans 60 years of time - the longest time-span of any Ayckbourn play; the lead character, Anthony Spates, is played by the same actor who ages from 18 to 78 during the course of the play.
  • A Brief History of Women premiered in repertory with Alan Ayckbourn's farce Taking Steps; he thought it rather apr with the latter being a farce with imagined floors and the former a play with imagined doors.
  • A Brief History Of Women was the eleventh Ayckbourn play (as of 2018) to have been directed in New York by the playwright himself. The previous plays are Bedroom Farce (co-directed with Peter Hall); By Jeeves, Intimate Exchanges, My Wonderful Day, Neighbourhood Watch, Private Fears In Public Places, Arrival & Departures, Time Of My Life, Hero's Welcome and Confusions.
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