Standing Room Only: Facts

Standing Room Only

Play Number: 4
World Premiere: 13 July 1961
Venue: Library Theatre, Scarborough

Premiere Staging: In-the-round

Published: No
Other Media: No

Cast: 3m / 3f
Run Time: TBC

Note: Written under the pseudonym Roland Allen
  • Standing Room Only is Alan Ayckbourn's 4th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 13 July 1961.
  • It is the earliest of Ayckbourn's play to have a professional production in London (although not in the West End), when it was performed for one night at the British Council's London Oversea Students' Centre by Cygnet Productions on 12 June 1966.
  • It was the final play to be attributed to Alan Ayckbourn's writing pseudonym Roland Allen...
  • However, when it was revived in 1963, it was credited to Alan Ayckbourn - also making it the first play to be attributed to Alan Ayckbourn.
  • Stephen Joseph originally asked for a play set in Venus dealing with the over-population of the planet after Earth had also become over-populated and decamped to Venus. Alan thought this was unlikely and relocated the action to London in 2010.
  • In later revisions of the play, the setting was moved to 1997.
  • Standing Room Only was the first Ayckbourn play to be directed by the author himself. Although the original production in Scarborough had been directed by Stephen Joseph, when the play was revived at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1963, Alan directed the play himself.
  • It was the first Ayckbourn play to be optioned for a West End production. Peter Bridge, who would later produce Relatively Speaking in the West End, bought the rights to the play, but it was never produced.
  • Standing Room Only was also the first Ayckbourn play to be bought for television. In 1963, the popular ITV series Armchair Theatre purchased rights to the play but it was never produced.
  • The play was partly inspired by Alan Ayckbourn's love of science / speculative fiction writing when he was growing up and is the first of his plays written in the science fiction genre.
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