Henceforward...: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Henceforward….
  • Henceforward… is Alan Ayckbourn's 34th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 30 July 1987.
  • The London premiere was held at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on 21 November 1988.
  • It was - at the time - the quickest play to transfer to North America following its world premiere, when Alan Ayckbourn directed a production at the Alley Theatre, Houston, which opened on 8 October 1987; subsequently the quickest North American transfer was with My Wonderful Day in 2009 when the play opened in Scarborough on 8 October and transferred to the 50E59 Theaters on 11 November.
  • Henceforward… is the first Ayckbourn play to deal with issues of creativity and creating art.
  • Although the concept of sampling music is commonplace today, in 1987 it was a nascent technology. The play's final scene 'Love' composition by the composer Paul Todd was created utilising cutting edge technology of the time on one of only four synclaviers in the UK. For its 2016 revival, Alan Ayckbourn composed the music using just a Mac computer!
  • Henceforward… is the first of several Ayckbourn plays to feature an android as main character. Androids - which arguably evolve over the course of his plays - also have significant roles in Comic Potential and Surprises.
  • The London premiere would feature the acclaimed stage and screen actor Ian McKellen in the lead role of the composer Jerome. As of writing, this is the only time Alan Ayckbourn and Ian McKellen have collaborated.
  • Henceforward… is regarded as Alan Ayckbourn's first significant science-fiction play; his fourth play Standing Room Only (1961) was also set in the future but has been withdrawn since the 1960s and never been published. Other science-fiction plays by Alan Ayckbourn include Communicating Doors, Comic Potential and Surprises.
  • It has been adapted twice as an audio production by Martin Jarvis - who also took over the original London production's role of Jerome from Ian McKellen - for LA Theatre Works in 2011 and for BBC Radio in 2012. In both productions, Jared Harris played the role of Jerome.
Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.