The Westwoods: History

The Westwoods was presented as two lunchtime productions in the Studio theatre at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 1984.

The plays (
His Side and Her Side) were initially conceived as being inspired by television soap operas and gently mocking the conventions and situations thrown up by such television programmes. However, the revues as written differ from this idea and what was initially advertised by the theatre as three 'episodes' of a theatrical soap opera in the summer 1984 brochure (each being a separate show).

The plot of
The Westwoods presents the story of a man (Robert) and woman (Patricia), through two plays His Side and Her Side, with Robert and Patricia played by four actors each, representing them at different stages in their lives. The play chronicles the ups and downs of their cynical relationships and lives through four decades. The music in The Westwoods is drawn from extracts from songs of the decade being portrayed.

The play did go on to London and was produced by Etcetera Theatre at the Oxford Arms, Camden - one of London's smallest fringe theatres - in 1987. The play ran simultaneously with
A Small Family Business at the National Theatre and Woman In Mind at the Vaudeville Theatre, leading to a suggestion Alan was the first playwright to have plays running at he National, in the West End and on the London fringe at the same time.

Unlike many of the other Ayckbourn / Todd collaborations, there is no audio recording of
The Westwoods as the music was drawn from artists of the period being portrayed and not original music by Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.