Season's Greetings (1980)

Production Details

New Play:


First performance:
Opening night:
Final performance:
Alan Ayckbourn

Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Main house (Round)

25 September 1980
25 September 1980
3 January 1981 (see notes)
Stacks Image 22585

Company Details


Stage Manager:
Deputy Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Alan Ayckbourn
Edward Lipscomb
Francis Lynch
Paul Todd

Simon Whitaker
Eric Lumsden
Sue Merry
Philippa Malbon
Neville, Belinda's husband
Eddie, Pattie's husband
Rachel, Belinda's sister
Phyllis, Neville's sister
Robin Herford
Ronald Herdman
Tessa Peake-Jones
Lavinia Bertram
Michael Simkins
Jeffrey Robert
Marcia Warren
Susan Uebel
Robin Bowerman


Season's Greetings was not the play originally advertised to open the winter season 1980 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round. Instead it was expected - and advertised - that Alan Ayckbourn would write a comedy thriller called Sight Unseen. However, when he realised he was struggling with the play, he began writing a new play at the last minute before rehearsals, which kept many of the character names and the location of a suburban hallway but with an entirely different plot.
As originally scheduled, Sight Unseen would have opened on 24 September. However, the last minute change of play and its effect on the rehearsal schedule meant Season's Greetings opened a day later on 25 September.
The play ran for just 4 performances initially (from 25 - 27 September) and following its London transfer (see below) returned to the repertory from 28 October to 3 January. The play would then be revived the following May.
The original promotional flyer noted: 'All we have at the moment is the title, but rest assured the script will arrive in time for rehearsals.'
Season's Greetings had a substantial editing process following its first four performances in which half-an-hour was cut from it running time. It was altered from a three to a two-act play and an off-stage speaking role was entirely eliminated.
Following its initial short run, Season’s Greetings transferred to The Round House, London, with the same company from 13 to 25 October 1980; this marked the London premiere of the play.
At the time, Season’s Greetings was advertised as Alan Ayckbourn’s 25th play (it is now considered his 26th full-length play). To mark this ‘silver anniversary’, the poster and programme cover design by The Drawing Room featured a silver ink background; this would have been an expensive (and eye-catching) addition due to printing processes at the time.


All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Image copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust