The Square Cat (1959)

New Play:


First performance:
Opening night:
Final performance:

Roland Allen (Alan Ayckbourn)

Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre
Concert Room, Scarborough Library

30 July 1959
30 July 1959
2 September 1959

Stephen Joseph
Stage Manager:
Asst. Stage Manager:
Asst. Stage Manager:
Ann Hughesdon
Rosemary Green
Don Brown
Sidney Glover
Alice Glover, his wife
Steve Glover, his son
Susan Glover, his daughter
Jerry Wattis / Arthur Brummage
David Campton
Dona Martyn
William Elmhirst
Faynia Jeffery
Alan Ayckbourn

Why is this play significant?

It's Alan Ayckbourn's first professionally produced play. I think that about covers that!


The Square Cat was Alan Ayckbourn's first full-length, commissioned play. Alan Ayckbourn joined the Studio Theatre Ltd company in 1957 as a stage manager, progressing to actor, later playwright, then director and eventually Artistic Director of the company in 1972.
The Square Cat was commissioned by Stephen Joseph after Alan Ayckbourn complained about the quality of his roles in the company, most notably following David Campton's Ring Of Roses. Stephen threw down the gauntlet that Alan write his own play - with the proviso Alan take the lead role.
In-depth details about The Square Cat and Alan Ayckbourn can be found at his official website
The success of The Square Cat - the second most popular play of the season - led it to being run for an extra week at the end of the season in place of David Campton's Frankenstein, which had not attracted strong audiences. This marked the first time a prosecution ran for two concurrent weeks at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre.
The programme for The Square Cat credits the play to Roland Allan, a mis-spelling of the pseudonym Roland Allen used by Alan Ayckbourn during the writing of his first four plays.
Roland Allen was actually an amalgamation of the name of both Alan Ayckbourn and his first wife, Christine Roland. This reflected the fact that The Square Cat was a collaboration between Alan and Christine.
The Square Cat was presented without an interval.


All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.