Ayckbourn is a ‘gift’, says reviewer

Alan Ayckbourn - Photo by Tony Bartholomew
Alan Ayckbourn - Photo by Tony Bartholomew

PLAYWRIGHT Alan Ayckbourn has been dubbed “Scarborough’s gift to the world” by one reviewer following a BBC documentary.

The accolade was given by Clive Morgan of the Daily Telegraph after watching the latest instalment of Alan Yentob’s “Imagine” culture series.

The show was screened on Tuesday night and featured footage of Scarborough.

Morgan says the programme got off to a somewhat “ominous” start, with “sinister-sounding fairground music and images of holidaymakers on Scarborough beach, accompanied by dialogue from Ayckbourn’s plays”.

However, he describes the ensuing interview as “warm and fuzzy” and says that Ayckbourn was “wry and candid throughout”.

The show featured tributes and trivia by Ayckbourn’s friends and fans, including Catherine Tate, Michael Gambon and the camera-shy French film-maker Alain Renais.

There was also a look at the run-up to the opening of Ayckbourn’s 75 and latest play, the darkly topical satire, Neighbourhood Watch.