Family Circles: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Family Circles.
  • Family Circles is Alan Ayckbourn's 10th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 20 August 1970.
  • The London premiere took place at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, on 24 September 1978; this marked the first professional in-the-round production of an Ayckbourn play in London.
  • The play has been produced under more different titles than any other Ayckbourn play. At various times it has been produced as The Story So Far…, Me Times Me Times Me, Me Times Me and, finally, Family Circles.
  • The original Scarborough production marked the first time the actor Bob Peck appeared in an Ayckbourn world premiere. The actor - later to become a renowned stage and screen actor - also appeared in the world premiere of A Small Family Business (1987).
  • The original production also featured the actress Elisabeth Sladen, who became famous for her portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith in the popular British television series Doctor Who. Coincidentally, Tom Baker - the actor who played the fourth Doctor and who Elisabeth Sladen is most associated with - was in the Scarborough company in 1968, the year before Elisabeth joined the company.
  • It is the only Ayckbourn play for which there have been at least three distinctly different versions of the play's script produced - none of which Alan Ayckbourn has been entirely happy with!
  • The sub-plot of the three daughters convinced their father is trying to kill their mother was apparently an inspiration for Alan Ayckbourn's later play It Could Be Any One Of Us (1983).
  • The 1972 pre-West End tour of the play (which never actually went into the West End) marked the first collaboration between Alan Ayckbourn and the London producer Michael Codron. He would go on to produce the majority of Alan Ayckbourn's West End productions between 1972 and 2002.
  • This production also marked the second occasion the noted British actress Celia Johnson - of the film Brief Encounter fame - appeared in an Alan Ayckbourn play, having appeared in the original West End production of Relatively Speaking.
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