Whenever: Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes offers a glimpse at some rarely known facts regarding the writing of Alan Ayckbourn's plays with material drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York and the playwright's personal archive.
  • This was the first time Alan Ayckbourn and the composer Denis King worked together on a full-length musical. Alan would go on to write Orvin - Champion Of Champions and Awaking Beauty with Denis King, having first worked together on the revue Cheap And Cheerful. Denis has also provided incidental music for Alan Ayckbourn's plays and featured as Mr Ames in Alan's 2004 revival of A Chorus Of Disapproval at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
  • The original production deliberately had many design references to science fiction films and television; Alan often referring to examples when advising the designers on the look of the costumes and props. This was clearly seen in the androids, which mixed elements of the Cybermen from Doctor Who and C-3P0 from Star Wars. Alan apparently asked for Hoombean to resemble the wookiee Chewbacca from Star Wars and the sound of the time-travel machine leaving and arriving was inspired by the TARDIS from Doctor Who. The Victorian setting of the play also echoes the period when H.G. Wells wrote his famous novel The Time Machine. On that note, although Whenever is set in 1886, nine years before Wells wrote The Time Machine, Wells actually first wrote about a time machine in 1888 in the short story The Chronic Argonauts.
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.