Sight Unseen (1980)

Note: Sight Unseen was announced to the press by the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round for the 1980 summer season and received significant media coverage. However, despite tickets being sold for the play, it was never written and instead replaced by Season's Greetings. This page contains what details were announced of the production for historical research. Dates, company members and staging details are included to indicate what was planned for the play had it been performed.

Production Details

New Play:


Advertised opening:
Advertised closing:
Alan Ayckbourn

Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Main house (Round)

24 September 1980
December 1980 (TBC)
Alan Ayckbourn
Edward Lipscomb
Francis Lynch
Details not announced
Details not announced


Sight Unseen was a new play by Alan Ayckbourn advertised for the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round's 1980 summer season. However, the play was not produced and it was replaced, just prior to rehearsals starting, by another new play by Alan Ayckbourn, Season's Greetings.
Alan Ayckbourn did not even begin writing Sight Unseen - at the time he was still writing to the latest possible deadline (i.e. rehearsals). At the point he realised Sight Unseen was not going to work he was less then two weeks from rehearsals. He quickly announced a new play, Season's Greetings (which featured the same size cast and the same-named characters) and wrote that at the last minute, necessitating a day late start for rehearsals.
Sight Unseen was advertised as a thriller and was set in a hallway in a suburban house (the setting of the play survived to Season's Greetings). It included a random murderer and appears to have been very similar in concept and scope to the play It Could Be Any One Of Us, which Alan Ayckbourn wrote three years later for the 1983 summer season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round.
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Image copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust