The Jollies: 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.
  • The Jollies was initially intended to be an entirely different play to the one actually written. As initially conceived, the play was inspired by reality television with the premise being a family living under the constant eye of the camera, who begin to realise things aren’t quite what they seem. This information was passed onto the Stephen Joseph Theatre marketing department and letters were sent out to schools advertising the play for Christmas and from whom bookings were taken.What actually transpired was very different to what was advertised. Having announced the play in June, Alan began writing it at the start of August. Alan writes for a very concentrated period of time, but this time, there was no play. Alan had hit a wall and realised he wasn’t able to write the play he’d originally announced. A week later he contacted the theatre and announced there would be another play with a different title - neither of which he was sure of yet! Fortunately a new idea came to mind and Alan wrote an entirely different play but with the same title, The Jollies. Despite having been advertised as an entirely different play to schools and no official correction being sent out from the theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre received no comments about the advertised and then replaced show!
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.