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Festival Honorary Fellowship: A Life in Theatre

Sunday 10 April 2016

1 Hour


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£12 - £25

Ticket price

One of Britain’s most successful living playwrights and directors Sir Alan Ayckbourn talks to his biographer Paul Allen about his life and career and receives the honorary fellowship of the Oxford Literary festival.

Ayckbourn has written 79 plays that have been translated into more than 35 languages. More than half of his plays have been staged at the West End. His best-known work includes Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests. He was artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough – where most of his plays were first staged – for 37 years until 2009. His work is often seen as popular theatre but critics have also noted a strong element of commentary on the suburban middle classes, with marriage a recurrent theme. His success has been recognised by the awards of the Laurence Olivier and Tony special lifetime achievement awards.

Ayckbourn will be in conversation with Paul Allen, author of Grinning at the Edge: A Biography of Alan Ayckbourn.  Allen is a broadcaster who specialises in theatre and the arts and presented BBC Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope and BBC radio 3’s Nightwaves. He is also a playwright and many of his works have been produced on radio and at theatres including a stage adaptation of the film Brassed Off at the National Theatre.

The previous recipients of the honorary fellowship have been David Lodge (2015), Jan Morris (2014), Philip Pullman (2013), William Boyd (2012), Kazuo Ishiguro (2011), Dame Antonia Byatt (2010) and Baroness P D James (2009).

Alan Ayckbourn photo is courtesy of Andrew Higgins.

Sponsored by Blackwell’s.