An Evening With PALOS: History

An Evening With PALOS is classified as one of Alan Ayckbourn's Grey Plays. These are plays which are acknowledged miscellaneous minor pieces by Alan Ayckbourn, which have received limited performance but have never been published, are not available for production and are not included in the official canon of Ayckbourn plays.

An Evening With PALOS is a short play that holds a unique position in Alan Ayckbourn's writing. It has only been performed professionally once, was written to commemorate the death of the actor Colin Blakely and is the only time Alan Ayckbourn has written a 'sequel' to any of his plays.

Colin Blakely's final major role in the West End was as Dafydd ap Llewellyn in the West End transfer of the National Theatre's production of
A Chorus Of Disapproval. Colin had stepped into the shoes vacated by Michael Gambon and had won much acclaim for his role as the Welsh artistic director of Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society. Tragically, Colin died shortly after A Chorus Of Disapproval closed at the Lyric Theatre.

Colin Blakely was a renowned and popular figure in British theatre and to mark his death, a tribute evening was arranged at the Lyric Theatre on 4 October 1987.
Colin Blakely - A Celebration included contributions from Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bates, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn and Vanessa Redgrave among others, alongside a host of renowned acting talent.

Alan wrote an new piece,
An Evening with PALOS, which was a short sketch centred around several members of Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society. It featured David Jason as Dafydd with members of both the original National Theatre and the West End transfer cast reprising their roles. The plot revolves around the attempts of Dafydd to stage a reading of the late Murdoch Park's verse poem A View From The Pump (Parks being one of Pendon's most pre-eminent authors and a major influence behind Dylan Thomas - or possibly vice versa). Naturally, being PALOS, things do not run smoothly.

The play has had only one other production with an amateur performance in June 2012, when it was presented as part of the
Ayckbourn Shorts event at the University Of York. This event, directed by Tom Wright, showcased some of the more obscure play-texts in the Ayckbourn Archive, which is held in the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the university.

In 2018, it will be performed in a special one-off event by Dick & Lottie theatre company, where Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd will give a talk about the piece and
A Chorus Of Disapproval prior to its performance following a production of A Chorus Of Disapproval.

An Evening With PALOS has never been published and is not available for production.

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