A Brief History Of Women: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's A Brief History Of Women. If you have a question about this or any other of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, you can contact the website via the Contact Us page.

Can you tell me what the piano music used between scenes in the world premiere production is and who composed it?
It is a piece of music called Divenire by the composer Ludovico Einaudi and widely available.

A Brief History of Women features a lot of doubling (tripling) of actors, could it be performed with a larger company taking all the individual roles?
A Brief History of Women was devised by Alan Ayckbourn for a company of six and - obviously - it is preferable to perform the play as the playwright intended, which was also to showcase the talents of the acting company with a variety of different roles. However, there is no reason why the majority of the subsidiary roles could not be individually cast with the exception of Spates and Lady Caroline Kirkbridge / Seabourne - the playwright believes it essential Spates is played by the same actor throughout. Arguably, much of the theatricality of the piece would be lost if a company of more than six is used, but it theoretically could be performed with a larger company.

The New York Times review on 2 May 2018 notes there may be some dispute as to what number the play is in the Ayckbourn canon, what number is it?
There is no dispute in the playwright's mind! This is his 81st full-length canon play.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.