Morning names: Alan Ayckbourn, Teddy Ruxpin

Yesterday, Alan Ayckbourn (the playwright). Today, Teddy Ruxpin (the toy).

On Ayckbourn, from Wikipedia:

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, CBE (born 12 April 1939) is a prolific English playwright. He has written and produced more than seventy full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 1967.

…┬áThe height of Ayckbourn’s commercial success included Absurd Person Singular (1975), The Norman Conquests trilogy (1973), Bedroom Farce (1975) and Just Between Ourselves (1976), all plays that focused heavily on marriage in the British middle classes.

Later he branched off into other themes.

I’m especially fond of The Norman Conquests. From Wikipedia:

The Norman Conquests is a trilogy of plays written in 1973 by Alan Ayckbourn. The small scale of the drama is typical of Ayckbourn. There are only six characters, namely Norman, his wife Ruth, her brother Reg and his wife Sarah, Ruth’s sister Annie, and Tom, Annie’s next-door-neighbour. The plays are at times wildly comic, and at times poignant in their portrayals of the relationships among six characters.

Each of the plays depicts the same six characters over the same weekend in a different part of a house. Table Manners is set in the dining room, Living Together in the living room, and Round and Round the Garden in the garden. Each play is self-contained, and they may be watched in any order, some of the scenes overlap, and on several occasions a character’s exit from one play corresponds with an entrance in another.

… In 1977 the plays were adapted for television by Thames Television.

The cover of the DVD of the tv adaptation:

(#1)

On Teddy Ruxpin.

(#2)

Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic children’s toy, in the form of a talking bear. The bear’s mouth and eyes moved while “reading” stories which were played on an audio tape cassette deck built into its back. It was created by Ken Forsse with later assistance by Larry Larsen and John Davies, and the first version of the toy was designed by the firm RKS Design. Later versions would use a digital cartridge in place of a cassette. At the peak of his popularity, Teddy Ruxpin became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986 … A cartoon based on the characters debuted in 1987. (Wikipedia link)

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