Intimate Exchanges: 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.
  • The original idea for the structure for Intimate Exchanges actually occurred to Alan Ayckbourn a couple of years earlier when he was writing his 1980 play Sisterly Feelings. This is considered the first of his 'chance' plays (a play which features a random element which takes place within the performance) and features a single opening scene with a choice of second scenes (decided by a flip of a coin) with a choice of two third scenes (decided on the night by one of the actors) and a single final scene. His original idea was far more complex though and featured a branching structure similar to the one he would later use for Intimate Exchanges. The original structure for Sisterly Feelings - as seen below - features only eight possible permutations as opposed to the 16 different permutations of Intimate Exchanges. The image below is taken from Alan Ayckbourn's early notes for Sisterly Feelings which are held in the Borthwick Institute at the University of York.
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Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. The sketch is copyright of Alan Ayckbourn and held in the Borthwick Institute at the University Of York and should not be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

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