Alan Ayckbourn's Curtain Call

Scarborough Theatre Trust / The Bob Watson Archive

WAY UPSTREAM: The stage was filled with water for Ayckbourn's ambitious 1981 play

The proprietor of the little Scarborough hotel where I was staying — a maternal Scottish woman who apologized sweetly for the lack of Internet service — stopped by my breakfast table to ask what I thought of the play I'd seen the previous night. "It's one of Alan's, isn't it?" she said. Then, after hearing my favorable review, she added a bit wistfully: "I don't know what we'll do when he retires completely. It won't be the same without him."

In Scarborough, everyone knows who Alan is. Playwright Alan Ayckbourn was an 18-year-old actor when he first came...

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