Neighbourhood Watch: In Brief

Key Facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Neighbourhood Watch.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is Alan Ayckbourn's 75th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 13 September 2011.
  • Neighbourhood Watch marked the first time the world premiere production of an Ayckbourn play transferred from Scarborough to New York to London with the original company. It opened at the 59E59 Theater, New York, on 11 December 2011 and at the Tricycle Theatre, London, on 11 April 2012.
  • Although the play drew much attention for its relevance due to the August 2011 riots in the UK, Neighbourhood Watch was not written as a response to these events with Alan Ayckbourn having completed it nine months earlier in November 2010.
  • The London transfer of the play to the Tricycle Theatre marked the first time Alan Ayckbourn had allowed one of his new plays to be seen in London since Private Fears In Public Places at the Orange Tree Theatre in 2005 and, prior to that, the Damsels In Distress trilogy in the West End's Duchess Theatre in 2001.
  • Neighbourhood Watch was written to complement the cast requirements of Dear Uncle, Alan Ayckbourn's adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya which although commissioned for the West End in 2008 only received its world premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2011 in repertory with Neighbourhood Watch.
  • It is the only world premiere production of an Ayckbourn play to have had more than 200 performances with the same company.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is the second Ayckbourn play to deal with committees which start off with the best of intentions, but which have unforeseen repercussions; the other play being Ten Times Table.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is only the eighth Ayckbourn play (as of 2014) to have been directed in New York by the playwright himself. The previous plays are Arrivals & Departures, Bedroom Farce (co-directed with Peter Hall); By Jeeves, Confusions, Hero's Welcome, Intimate Exchanges, My Wonderful Day, Private Fears In Public Places and Time Of My Life.
  • The play featured in two major BBC documentaries focusing on Alan Ayckbourn. Firstly for the BBC Radio 4 documentary Ayckbourn In Action, broadcast on 15 September 2011 and, more notably, in the BBC1 Imagine special: Alan Ayckbourn - Greetings From Scarborough. This notably - given the play was still on tour - revealed the climax of the play with filmed footage from a key final scene!
  • It is one of the few Ayckbourn plays to feature the on-stage death of a character. Other plays which feature characters being killed include A Small Family Business, Man Of The Moment and Arrivals & Departures.
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