The Square Cat: Facts

The Square Cat

Play Number: 1
World Premiere: 30 July 1959
Venue: Library Theatre, Scarborough

Premiere Staging: In-the-round

Published: No
Other Media: No

Cast: 3m / 2f
Run Time: TBC

Note: Written under the pseudonym Roland Allen
  • The Square Cat is Alan Ayckbourn's first professionally produced play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 30 July, 1959.
  • The Square Cat is credited to Roland Allen and was co-written with his wife Christine Roland (hence the pseudonym combines both names).
  • Alan was 19 years old he wrote the play in early 1959.
  • It has only been produced twice: the original production at the Library Theatre in 1959 followed by a tour to the Municipal Hall, Newcastle-under-Lyme, in 1960.
  • The play was directed by Stephen Joseph; the most influential mentor in Alan's life who also encouraged him to both write and direct.
  • The play was commissioned as a direct result of Alan complaining about the quality of role he was playing in Ring Of Roses by David Campton. As a result, Stephen Joseph challenged Alan to write a better play.
  • Alan Ayckbourn starred in the original production of the play in the dual role of Jerry Wattis / Arthur Brummage; roles which required him to sing, dance and play guitar - none of which he could do!
  • The Square Cat is a farce. It is one of only three pure full-length farces written by Alan Ayckbourn, of which only Taking Steps is available to produce.
  • The Square Cat has never been published and is not available to produce.
  • Original manuscripts are held by the British Library, the University of Manchester and the Ayckbourn Archive in the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York.
Article by Simon Murgatroyd and copyright of Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.