Things We Do For Love: Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes offers a glimpse at some rarely known facts regarding the writing of Alan Ayckbourn's plays with material drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York and the playwright's personal archive.
  • Things We Do For Love is one of the few Alan Ayckbourn's plays written specifically for the end-stage (and, with the exception of A Small Family Business, practically the only Ayckbourn play that can't be performed in-the-round). One of the motivating factors for writing an end-stage play was a financial crisis which had engulfed the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the months after the new building had opened in 1996. Facing a funding shortfall and with threats of funding cuts, the venue found itself making national news when it was incorrectly reported that Scarborough Borough Council had to make a decision between funding the theatre or the town's public toilets (the two were actually funded by entirely separate budgets and had no effect on the other) and was dubbed 'luvvies vs lavvies'. Faced with calls for the theatre to cut costs and to close the smaller McCarthy auditorium, Alan Ayckbourn responded by writing a piece specifically for that space which went on to break performance records in the theatre and to play to packed houses for its entire run.
  • The design of the stage was conceived with the challenging dimensions of The McCarthy in mind - a particularly wide, but not deep, stage. The three floors of the flat show the complete living room of the middle floor and the top few feet of the flat below and the bottom few feet of the bedroom above.
  • Alan Ayckbourn was apparently inspired to write the play’s memorable sex scene by the Clint Eastwood movie In The Line Of Fire, where the actor and Rene Russo have a love scene filmed at their feet, as Alan said: “It's a wonderful sex scene and I thought I'd love to shoot a stage play from the feet!".
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.

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