Relatively Speaking: Facts

Relatively Speaking

Play Number: 7
World Premiere: 8 July 1965
Venue: Library Theatre, Scarborough

Premiere Staging: In-the-round

Published: Samuel French
Other Media: Television; Radio

Cast: 2m / 2f
Run Time: 2hrs

Note: Originally produced under the title Meet My Father.
  • Relatively Speaking was originally titled Meet My Father when it opened at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 8 July 1965
  • Relatively Speaking is the seventh of Alan’s plays and marked his first play at the Library Theatre for four years.
  • Although frequently described as a farce, it is more accurately of the 'high comedy' genre.
  • It is the first Ayckbourn play to mention his fictional town of Pendon which is the location of a number of his plays including Time & Time Again, A Chorus Of Disapproval and Improbable Fiction.
  • Relatively Speaking was the last Ayckbourn play to be directed by Alan's most influential mentor, Stephen Joseph, and the final Ayckbourn play not to have its world premiere directed by the author himself.
  • Alan Ayckbourn’s first directed the play with an amateur production by Leeds Art Theatre in 1970 at Leeds Civic Theatre.
  • Relatively Speaking opened in the West End on 29 March 1967 at the Duke Of York's Theatre. It closed on 3 February 1968 and was a huge success for the playwright.
  • Relatively Speaking was the first Ayckbourn play to be published. Despite being given to the publishers Evans in 1967, the play took more than two years to reach publication.
  • Relatively Speaking was both the first Ayckbourn play to be broadcast on television (in 1967 with scenes recorded from the West End premiere) and the first Ayckbourn play to be adapted for television (1969). It is also the only play to have been adapted twice for British television - both times by the BBC - in 1969 and 1989.
  • The play was not professionally produced in New York until 1984. Its American premiere was in 1970 at Westport Country Playhouse.
  • Alan Ayckbourn has revived the piece professionally twice. The first time in 1977 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, and the second time in 2007 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, to mark the 40th anniversary of its West End debut.
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