Anno Domino: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Anno Domino
Anno Domino is Alan Ayckbourn's 84th play.
It premiered on 25 May 2020 on the Stephen Joseph Theatre's website as an audio stream initially for a month - this was extended by an extra week due to demand for the play.
It is the first Ayckbourn play to have its world premiere as an audio play.
Anno Domino is, it should be emphasised, a full-length play intended for the stage - which the playwright hopes will be staged as intended in the future.
Anno Domino was written during Autumn 2018 without a specific production slot for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in mind; it is one of several Ayckbourn plays written since 2017 which have yet to be produced. As a result, when Alan decided to do a recording for Covid-19, he had a new, unproduced, ready-written play.
For the world premiere, Alan Ayckbourn and his wife, Heather Stoney, played all the roles in the play. This marked Alan's first return to professional acting since 1964.
The world premiere production marked the first time Alan Ayckbourn had both directed and acted in one of his own plays.
The unusual circumstances surrounding the play were due to the Covid-19 pandemic which closed all the UK's theatres during 2020. With no performances permitted within theatres, Alan Ayckbourn suggested to the SJT's Artistic Director Paul Robinson that he could record a new play for audio-streaming to premiere on the SJT website to help the company during these challenging times.
The title not only reflects a key element within the play but is also a play on the words Anno Domini - the full form of AD (as in 2020AD), but also Latin for 'advancing age.' It also suggests the idea of a domino effect - another theme of the play.
Arguably the play revisits some of the ideas previously - less successfully - visited in the now withdrawn play Virtual Reality; this too explores the idea of how one couple's disintegration has unforeseen effects on the relationships around them.
Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without the permission of the copyright holder.