Comic Potential: In Brief

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential.
  • Comic Potential is Alan Ayckbourn's 52nd play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 4 June 1998.
  • The London premiere was held at the Lyric Theatre on 13 October 1999.
  • The New York premiere was held at the Manhattan Theatre Club on 16 November 2000.
  • Janie Dee's role as Jacie Triplethree saw her become only the second actress after Judi Dench to win the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Actress. She also won Obie and Theatre World awards for the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of the play.
  • Comic Potential is the second Ayckbourn play to deal with issues of creativity and creating art; the first of these plays was Henceforward….
  • Comic Potential is one of Alan Ayckbourn's future-set science-fiction plays, which also include Henceforward…, Communicating Doors and Surprises among others.
  • Alan Ayckbourn has frequently mentioned that his science-fiction plays are loosely inspired by the 'broken' future worlds portrayed in Ridley Scott's films such as Alien and Blade Runner.
  • Alan Ayckbourn frequently writes a family play which is thematically linked to one of his adult plays. In the case of Comic Potential, its family counter-part is My Sister Sadie which also questions what it is which makes us human via an android character.
  • The West End production featured David Soul as Chandler with Matthew Cottle as Adam; it marked the first time Matthew had worked with Alan Ayckbourn and would mark the start of a long association with the playwright appearing in both world premiere and West End productions of the playwright's work.
  • Comic Potential was adapted for television in 2003 in Poland under the title Sila komiczna.
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