Articles by Alan Ayckbourn

This article about Invisible Friends was written by Alan Ayckbourn for the introduction to Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 2 in 1998.

Preface to Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 2 (extract)

It was 1988 when I decided, in an effort to build up a regular children's Christmas audience at the theatre in Scarborough, that I would have another shot at a Christmas Play. A year later, encouraged by the success of Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays (a help-decide-the-plot, audience participation sort of show), I wrote Invisible Friends. It has been described as a younger version of my earlier play, Woman in Mind. It relies, like a lot of my children's work, upon a good deal of direct narration, this time from young Lucy who gets fed up with her own family and retreats into a fantasy world of her own. As in the adult play, her dreams appear not only to be coming true but rapidly turning into nightmares. Unlike its adult counterpart, though, it has a moral (anything's possible if you put your mind to it) and a far happier ending.

I have no hard and fast code when I write for my young audience except a determination to make sure the play opens doors of possibility and doesn't merely close them.

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