The Revengers' Comedies: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's The Revengers' Comedies.
  • The Revengers' Comedies is Alan Ayckbourn's 37th play.
  • The play is in two distinct parts intended to be performed separately, but telling a single story
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 13 June 1989.
  • The London premiere was held at the Strand Theatre on 16 & 17 October 1991.
  • The Revengers' Comedies was inspired by the movie Strangers On A Train as well as Alan's experiences working on the John Ford's play 'Tis Pity She's A Whore at the National Theatre in 1998.
  • The play was adapted for BBC Radio in 1996 by Gordon House and featured John Strickland (Henry in the world premiere production) and Lia Williams (Karen in the London premiere production) in a two part production.
  • It was adapted into a film in 1998 by Malcolm Mowbray (named Sweet Revenge in North America) starring Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter (as a co-production with the BBC, it is frequently mistaken for a television production). The play's five hour running time was reduced to a mere 82 minutes.
  • The original production of the play marked the first time the designer Roger Glossop and lighting designer Mick Hughes worked together on the world premiere of an Ayckbourn play; they would subsequently regularly work with the playwright in Scarborough and the West End.
  • Alan Ayckbourn hoped the play would transfer to the National Theatre, but the Artistic Director Richard Eyre wanted Alan to reduce the running time of each play so both would fit into a single evening, which he refused to do.
  • It is the first Ayckbourn play to feature an on-stage death by gun-shot; although Season's Greetings does feature someone being shot and mistakenly pronounced dead!
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