This Is Where We Came In: Archive

The Archive highlights significant documents relating to This Is Where We Came In which are held in Archive by either Alan Ayckbourn, the Ayckbourn Archive at the University of York or The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. All material is copyright protected and should not be reproduced.

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One of Alan Ayckbourn’s more unusual programme notes. Having been asked to provide copy for the 1991 revival of This Is Where We Came In, Alan instead sent this sketch to the Press Officer with an attached note: “I can’t think of anything to write about this play. So here is a picture of me writing it.” The sketch and accompanying note were reproduced in the programme. (Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn)

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A rarely seen poster for the 1991 revival of the play. At this time, the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round produced season programmes / playbills and posters. As a result, posters were produced but rarely seen. Only elements of the poster - which does not even feature the name of the play on the board - was used in advertising and copy. (Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust)

The extract from a letter reproduced below is an interesting response from Alan Ayckbourn to a teacher following a school trip to see This Is Where We Came In in 1991 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round. The teacher had taken exception to the use of the word ‘slut’ and here Alan defends his position as well as relevant issues. (Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn)

1 January 1992

Dear ,

I was really rather startled to get the letter regarding bad language in THIS IS WHERE WE CAME IN.

Until that moment I hadn’t honestly realised there was any.

I am very sensitive to the sort of things I put in my ‘family’ plays and try hard to ensure that the respective merits of good and evil are clearly indicated.

I think you will agree that THIS IS WHERE WE CAME IN was extremely moral. Such so-called language as there was came exclusively from the villains - though I would seriously debate that a word like ‘slut’, a word to be found in all dictionaries, could be termed bad language.

There is a dangerous new philosophy afoot which seems to be preaching, especially to our young, that if we ignore evil it will somehow no longer exist. Or, at the very least, will mysteriously go away.

I’ve grown to suspect that this attitude might well be being fostered or clandestinely encouraged by the very elements in our society in whose best interests it is to see it flourish.

If we accept Good we must also accept Evil. And learn to recognise both, preferably the earlier the better, in order to make our own right choice.

Sorry to preach but as you may gather I do feel strongly and take my work very seriously. I would hate you to go away with the impression that any word good or bad appeared in a play of mine didn’t get there without a great deal of thought and consideration.

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