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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 15:56 GMT
Sir Alan Ayckbourn suffers stroke
Sir Alan Ayckbourn
Sir Alan has written more than 69 plays
Playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn is recovering from a stroke in hospital in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

The 66-year-old's best-known works include The Norman Conquests trilogy and A Chorus of Disapproval.

"I hope to be back on my feet, or at least my left leg, as soon as possible," he said.

"I know it's going to take some time. In the meantime, I am in excellent hands." Sir Alan is artistic director at the town's Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Sir Alan, who was knighted in 1997 for his services to theatre, has written more than 60 works and has said he can write a play in just 10 days.

His plays, including Bedroom Farce, Absurd Person Singular and A Small Family Business, have been translated into 30 languages and are performed around the world.


Most of his works have had their first airing at the Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough, where his career began, initially as an 18-year-old actor and later as a writer and director.

Born in London in 1939, he moved to the Yorkshire town in 1957 where he flourished alongside friend and mentor Stephen Joseph, who pioneered theatre-in-the-round.

Ayckbourn's first major success came with the 1967 play Relatively Speaking which transferred to the West End and became a turning point in his life.

A keen commentator on the lifestyles of the British middle class, he is also admired for his innovation. Two recent plays, House and Garden, were performed simultaneously in adjacent theatres using the same cast members.

His numerous prizes include a lifetime achievement award from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain and two Tonys.

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