Relatively Speaking: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking. 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.

Whose are the slippers Sheila finds at the end of the play?
Greg discovers the slippers at the flat and brings them with him to The Willows, placing them into a plant pot where they are later discovered by Sheila. Their origin is never explained, but the implication - as they are not Philip's size - is that Ginny has had other lovers than Philip and these have been left by one of them at her flat.

What happened to the letters Ginny comes to retrieve from Philip?
That's actually an unresolved plot point and we never discover what happens to them.

There have been several substantively different versions of Relatively Speaking including the original production and the first West End production, are they available to perform?
No. Alan considers the published version of Relatively Speaking to be the definitive edition of the play and this is the only version available to perform. With regard to the original production, Meet My Father, it was substantively cut by the director and the author does not believe it benefited the play. The original West End production is considered a work-in-progress which led to the definitive version of the play.

Where can I obtain the television adaptations of Relatively Speaking?
Unfortunately, neither of the television adaptations of Relatively Speaking are available. The original 1969 adaptation is not held in the BBC's archives and is not believed to have survived. The 1989 adaptation has never been released commercially and the playwright is aware of no intention by the BBC to release this adaptation in the foreseeable future.

Where can I obtain the BBC radio adaptation of Relatively Speaking?
Whilst Relatively Speaking was released on audio cassette by the BBC in 1990, the radio adaptation has never been rereleased or made available in any other format. It is now exceptionally difficult to obtain copies of the 1990 cassette and the playwright is aware of no intention by the BBC to release this adaptation in the foreseeable future.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.

The Relatively Speaking section of Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website is supported by Michael T. Mooney