Taking Steps (1979)

Production Details

New Play:


First performance:
Opening night:
Final performance:
Alan Ayckbourn

Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Main house (Round)

27 September 1979
28 September 1979
5 January 1980
Stacks Image 22585

Company Details


Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Alan Ayckbourn
Paul Todd

Sean O'Neill
Eric Lumsden
Nina Edwards
Mark, her brother
Tristram, a solicitor
Roland, Elizabeth's husband
Leslie, a builder
Kitty, Mark's fiancee
Alison Skilbeck
Robin Herford
Robin Bowerman
John Arthur
Jeffrey Robert
Lavinia Bertram


Taking Steps opened for just four performances from 27 to 29 September before the company took a month-long break. The play then returned to repertory from 30 October to 12 January before returning during the summer 1980 season.
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.'
Taking Steps is the only play by Alan Ayckbourn specifically written for in-the-round performance. It can - and has frequently - been performed end-stage, but the playwright feels this is to miss the point of the play.
The actor Robin Murphy was originally cast as Leslie, but during the read-through of the play, he apparently announced he did not like the play leading to a confrontation with Alan Ayckbourn. The actor left, was replaced by Jeffrey Robert and did not work with the Scarborough company again.
Famously, the volume of laughter in the first night blew the theatre’s internal relay system!


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