Way Upstream

Ranked #58 on the list Best Books by Alan Ayckbourn

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About Way Upstream

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Way Upstream is a play by Alan Ayckbourn. It was first performed, under Ayckbourn's direction, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK, "in the round" at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, on 2 October 1981. Although realistic in style, with a setting of a hired cabin cruiser on an English river, it can be read as an allegory of the political state of England at the time, with the violent resolution of the usurping captain's tyrannical regime taking place at "Armageddon Bridge", and crew members "Alistair" and "Emma" (representing an innocent "Adam" and "Eve") making a new start at the end. The London première was at the proscenium Lyttelton Theatre on 4 October 1982, with Ayckbourn again directing. It had been postponed since August; the production became notorious because of its many technical problems during rehearsal, most spectacularly the bursting of the water tank which flooded the National Theatre. At the much-delayed première the excitement of the technical problems distorted the appreciation of some critics with Jack Tinker, representative of the populist Daily Mail, turning up wearing wellington boots. Most, however, found a work of "genuine merit". It is possible to stage the work

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