Just Between Ourselves: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Just Between Ourselves.
  • Just Between Ourselves is Alan Ayckbourn's 20th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 28 January 1976.
  • The London premiere took place at the Queen's Theatre on 20 April 1977.
  • The playwright considers it one of his 'winter' plays, three plays in succession written for the first time during the winter months in Scarborough. Alan attributes the darkness found in Just Between Ourselves, Ten Times Table and Joking Apart to writing at this time of year.
  • Just Between Ourselves was the final Ayckbourn play to be performed at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, as well as being the final play to be performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round (to which the Library Theatre company moved in 1976).
  • The play is one of Alan Ayckbourn's exterior garden-set plays - the garage and garden of Dennis and Vera - which also includes plays such as Relatively Speaking, Round And Round The Garden, Joking Apart, Garden and Snake In The Grass amongst others.
  • Just Between Ourselves requires a full-sized car on set: which should ideally be a small popular car reflecting the period the play is set in; further to this, the playwright feels very strongly that Just Between Ourselves is a play firmly of the 1970s and make little sense if moved out of that milieu.
  • The world premiere production marked the first appearance in an Ayckbourn play in Scarborough of the actor Malcolm Hebden, playing Neil. He would stay with the company for 20 years and become its associate director. His final play, in 1996, was a revival of Just between Ourselves in which he again played Neil.
  • Just Between Ourselves won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy in 1977; this marked the second time Alan had taken Best Play following The Norman Conquests in 1974.
  • The play was adapted for television in 1978 to mark the 10th anniversary of Yorkshire Television. It starred Richard Briers as Dennis.
  • It has also been adapted for the radio twice by the BBC in 1984 and 2008. In 2000, it was also recorded as an audio drama by LA Theatre Works, directed by Waris Hussein, best known as the director of the first ever episode of the television drama Doctor Who in 1963.
  • It was due to be revived by Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre during 2020, but the production was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic which closed every theatre in the UK.
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