All Lies: History

All Lies is Alan Ayckbourn's 86th produced full-length play and was written in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Its cast size of three and simple production were designed to accommodate the restrictions and challenges many small theatres in the UK were - and still are - facing as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

The play was inspired by the rise of 'fake news' and how people lie about themselves. Alan was intrigued about how we occasionally lie, not out of malice but to impress someone else, particularly at the start of a relationship. Intrigued but realising that the concept would not stand up in the modern day when we can instantly check a lie through the internet, he decided to set the play during the 1950s when he was a teenager.

All Lies premiered in the Spring of 2022 from 5 - 21 May at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Winderemere, and marked the first time an Ayckbourn play had not premiered in Scarborough since A Small Family Business at the National Theatre in 1987.

Alan has a close association with The Old Laundry Theatre, which is a theatre-in-the-round which replicates the design of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough (1976 - 1996). Roger Glossop, the designer of and a director and co-trustee of The Old Laundry Theatre, has been regularly designing for Alan Ayckbourn's world and West End premieres since 1986.

The production will then transfer to the Esk Valley Theatre, Glaisdale, near Whitby, from 4 - 27 August 2022. This is another theatre which Alan Ayckbourn has close ties to and with which he has been hoping to direct for a number of years. This will mark the first time an Ayckbourn world premiere production will have been staged at the small theatre near Whitby.

Although one of Alan Ayckbourn's shorter plays, it is still considered a full-length work and can be produced either in two acts (as originally produced) or one act. It was originally written with the end-stage The McCarthy Theatre at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in mind and is thus considered one of Alan Ayckbourn's few plays written specifically for the end-stage.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.