Men On Women On Men: History

Men On Women On Men is Alan Ayckbourn's first musical revue and was the playwright's first foray into musical territory since his flop musical Jeeves with Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1975. The revue was created with the composer Paul Todd and premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in June 1978. It would launch a partnership which would encompass two full length musicals and 10 revues between 1978 and 1986.

The piece originated as a late night revue and features 25 sketches / songs which look at various aspects of the relationships and differences between men and women; it features two men and two women with 14 songs.

The revue has never been published but an original cast recording was released on audio cassette during the duration of the show's original run, which has never been re-issued.

More intriguingly, the revue was recorded and televised by the BBC and is the first time Alan Ayckbourn received a directing credit for a television production of his own work (the only other example of this is the television film of
By Jeeves). The revue was recorded in the BBC Leeds studios in February 1979 featuring the original cast (with Alison Skilbeck taking over Fiona Mathieson's role). It was only broadcast by BBC North in two parts over two weeks and has never been repeated or released commercially. It has only been broadcast once in the United Kingdom.

Alan has always noted that not only was this the first of his revues, but the first of his musical works to be written the wrong way round, with Paul Todd submitting music and Alan writing lyrics to suit the music.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.