If I Were You: In Brief

Key Facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's If I Were You.
  • If I Were You is Alan Ayckbourn's 70th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 17 October 2006.
  • It was the final play Alan Ayckbourn completed before his stroke on 21 February 2006. The play had been finished only several weeks earlier.
  • If I Were You was the first play Alan Ayckbourn directed after recovering from his stroke. He has noted that by scheduling the play into the Stephen Joseph Theatre's winter season, it gave him a goal to aim for during his recuperation.
  • The play is one of several body-swapping plays written by the playwright. These date back to 1987 and include Henceforward… (a female robot being altered to resemble another woman); Body Language (the heads of two women are transposed); The Jollies (a child finds themselves in an adult's body and vice versa).
  • The earliest draft of the play was called I To I. It then became If I Were You, only to briefly return to I To I before reverting back to If I Were You.
  • The play features a composite set (several locations on one stage at all times). Other Ayckbourn plays to feature composite sets include How The Other Half Loves, Bedroom Farce, Taking Steps, Private Fears In Public Places and Life Of Riley.
  • The set is unusual in that the exact same set stands in for two totally different locations; the Rodale's house and a furniture showroom. The only play where Alan Ayckbourn had previously done this was A Small Family Business. The difference with a play such as How The Other Half Loves is whilst two different places are shown shorting the same place, How The Other Half Loves features design elements unique to both houses rather than a generic set being used to represent two completely different locations
  • If I Were You was the first of several Ayckbourn plays to feature the noted actress Liza Goddard. She had previously worked with Alan Ayckbourn on an end-stage tour of Season's Greetings in 2004. Following If I Were You, Liza would appear in the world premiere productions of Life & Beth and Life Of Riley as well as several revivals directed by the playwright.
  • The 2010 tour, produced by Bill Kenwright, marked the first time an Ayckbourn play which had not been produced in the West End had a major UK tour by a producer other than the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
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