Bedroom Farce: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce.
  • Bedroom Farce is Alan Ayckbourn's 19th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 16 June 1975.
  • The London premiere took place in the Lyttelton at the National Theatre on 16 March 1977.
  • The New York premiere took place at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on 29 March 1979.
  • Alan Ayckbourn finished writing the play on the same day his and Andrew Lloyd Webber's flop musical Jeeves closed in the West End.
  • The play was initially going to feature four couples in four bedrooms rather than the four couples in three bedrooms of the final play.
  • Bedroom Farce was commissioned by the National Theatre as an end-stage play (and it is considered one of Alan's few end-stage pieces), however he intended to produce it in-the-round when it had its first production at the Library Theatre, Scarborough. Unfortunately, the set as designed wouldn't fit in the space, so it was produced three-sided.
  • Alan Ayckbourn finally directed it in-the-round for a revival any the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 2000. To date, it is the only play which has been performed in both the venue's performance spaces, The Round and the end stage The McCarthy as Alan re-directed it for the latter prior to a national end-stage venue tour.
  • The London production marked both Alan's debut as a director in London (credited as co-director with Peter Hall) and the first of his plays to be staged at the National Theatre.
  • The National Theatre's production is regarded as the first bona fide success at the venue which had opened on London's South Bank in 1976.
  • The National Theatre's production transferred to both the West End and Broadway, where Alan received his only Tony Award nominations to date (for Direction and Best Play); although he would receive the Special Tony Award For Lifetime Achievement in Theatre in 2010.
  • The National Theatre's production was also adapted for television as part of a six play package agreed between the National Theatre and Granada Television. So successful was the broadcast, plans were seriously considered for a spin-off sitcom Ernest & Delia.
  • Revived in London in 2002, the poor quality of the production - alongside the treatment of his production of Damsels In Distress - led Alan to make the decision to put a moratorium on productions of all his work in London for several years and to permanently cease transferring his new work to the West End.
  • Sir Peter Hall later - after the lifting of the moratorium - successfully revived Bedroom Farce at the Rose Theatre in 2009 which transferred into the West End in 2010.
  • Despite the title, Bedroom Farce is not a farce; in fact Alan Ayckbourn originally intended to title the play Bedroom Farce, A Comedy.
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