By Paul M. Allen
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Additional resources for Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge: A Biography of Alan Ayckbourn
Chris became an Elvis Presley fan. Alan was still keen on classical music and jazz. Christopher started to go to local youth clubs and chase girls. Alan was still in his room conjuring up stories, or just conjuring. And as the parents drew further apart, each boy took his own parent's side and so they grew apart too. Perhaps the most disruptive thing was that Lolly, deploying considerable sarcasm, would point out that she had the cleverer son, and she'd take Alan off to Brighton to hear a concert and meet the musicians, or to see a play.
One of them worked in the box office of a local cinema, so he got in free there. He was acting again, this time in weekly rep: a permanent company performing one play at night, rehearsing next week's during the day and in their own time - reading through the one they would be doing the week after. The student ASM could also expect to make props, paint the set, fetch the tea and feed the theatre cat. And after going through drama school this is where serious actors got their practical training, building up their range through playing substantial parts rather than, as now, getting 'a cough and a spit' in a long-running television series and launching a career that way.
I bet he can't tell me much that I don't know already! I am looking forward very much to seeing you at the Coronation and to tell you the truth I feel rather homesick. Still I expect I'll get over that after a bit I hope so in any case. I haven't ridden my bike for quite a long time as I haven't felt up to it really. In fact to sum up this miserable letter - I'm damned unhappy. My love and best wishes to you all, Alan 26 Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge He was 14. The misery may have been partly physiological in origin - he used to have 'a sort of health lapse' at some point i n every term - and this is the only letter in this mood.