Invisible Friends: 10 Facts

10 Facts offer an at a glance guide to some of the key information relating to Alan Ayckbourn's plays.
  • Invisible Friends is Alan Ayckbourn's 38th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 23 November 1989.
  • The London premiere was held at The Cottesloe at the National Theatre on 13 March 1991.
  • Invisible Friends is considered Alan Ayckbourn's second family play after Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays (1988) and was the first of Alan's family plays to receive a major London production.
  • Alan Ayckbourn's family plays often complement his adult plays and Invisible Friends is often described as a complimentary play to Woman In Mind; both feature a protagonist who creates an imaginary family to escape her real family.
  • Invisible Friends is the first Ayckbourn play to feature a character who directly addresses the audience, as Lucy is not only the protagonist but also the narrator. Alan would incorporate a similar narrative device into other plays such as The Jollies and Miss Yesterday; strictly speaking Alan did use this device in his third play Dad's Tale (1960),but this play was withdrawn and is not available to produce and thus unaccessible.
  • The lead role of Lucy was played in both Scarborough and London by Emma Chambers, who would soon afterwards become famous for her recurring role as Alice in the BBC television series The Vicar Of Dibley between 1994 and 2007.
  • Invisible Friends is one of two plays to have been produced at the National Theatre whilst Richard Eyre was Artistic Director; both family plays. The other was Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays.
  • Invisible Friends was the first of Alan Ayckbourn's family plays to have been staged in North America when Seattle Children's Theater, based in Seattle, Washington, produced the play in 1992. Subsequently many of Alan's family plays have had American productions.
  • Alan Ayckbourn had his own invisible friend when he was a child, called Tim!
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without the permission of the copyright holder.