A Word From Our Sponsor: Behind The ScenesBehind 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.
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.
- The concept of A Word From Our Sponsor date back to at least 1993 when Alan Ayckbourn began working on his 46th play Private Fears In Public Places. Except, although advertised, the idea for that play fell apart and Alan turned to a back-up plan for another play. Although this has never specifically been identified as A Word From Our Sponsor, there is enough evidence from contemporary interviews and articles to support the theory this was his second idea for a play (note, A Word From Our Sponsor was not initially conceived as a musical). Unfortunately, Alan was unable to make this idea work either and dropped A Word from Our Sponsor too; he would eventually write the time-travelling thriller Communicating Doors instead. Alan would later note that his earlier attempts at making A Word From Our Sponsor work had failed due to him struggling to find a way to deal with its more 'exotic' elements; his eventual solution was to make it into a musical.