Family Circles: Articles by Alan Ayckbourn
The Story So Far… (Library Theatre, Scarborough, 1970 production programme note)
I suppose the question this play poses is one that many married partners might have asked themselves at some stage or other - either idly or, in some cases, in deadly seriousness. What would have happened had I married someone else? What would have happened to me as a person? Would have I been very different had I married, say, a booming extrovert rather than the nervous hesitant creature with whom I share my breakfast table? And what might have happened to them? Are they as they are, solely as a result of being exposed to the hard core radiation of my own personality?
Intrigued, I explored the possibility. Six individuals are all, at one time or another during this play, married or about to be married to each other. Who’s best suited to who? You can take your choice. These six, at any rate, finally find their own happy solution. But that’s only half the story so far….
Family Circles (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, 1978 production programme note)
This production of The Story So Far... takes me back a bit. At least, that is what we called the play in Scarborough where it was first produced in 1970. Later under its second title, Me Times Me Time Me, it was presented at Leicester in 1971 and subsequently toured by Eddie Kulukundis. Later, in 1972, it was toured again, this time by Michael Codron starring Celia Johnson and Roland Culver but did not come into London.
Chronologically in my writing, the play was written between How The Other Half Loves and Time And Time Again. Stylistically it does something to bridge the otherwise rather abrupt change that occurs between the technical farcicalities of the former and the mellower tones of the latter.
The reason for this sudden switch might be found in the last act of Family Circles which must be termed complicated. My admiration for the Orange Tree in tackling the play is enormous.
Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.