Way Upstream: Archival Images

A collection of archive material, posters, rehearsal and production images pertaining to Alan Ayckbourn's Way Upstream. The Archive Images page is presented in association with the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York where the Ayckbourn Archive is held. Click on an image to expand.

Way Upstream (1981)

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The earliest written notes for Way Upstream by Alan Ayckbourn reveal that Alistair and Emma were originally Adam and Edie (although, look closely and you can see her original name was probably June), Also the Hadforth Bounty was initially the Hadforth Maid II before being changed.

Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Holding: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Do not reproduce images without permission of the copyright holder.
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An very early sketch of the set of Way Upstream by Alan Ayckbourn for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round. The boat is not to scale as at this size, its movements would have been very limited compared to the actual boat.

Copyright: Haydonning Ltd
Holding: Borthwick Institute for Archives

Do not reproduce images without permission of the copyright holder.
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Alan Ayckbourn at the helm of the Hadforth Bounty during rehearsals for the world premiere of Way Upstream at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough, during 1981.

Photographer: Alec Russell (© Haydonning Ltd)
Holding: Borthwick Institute for Archives

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A picture of the climatic fight scene in Way Upstream between Vince (Bob Eaton) & Alistair (Robin Herford) in the world premiere production at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough.

Photographer: Alec Russell (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Holding: The Bob Watson Archive

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A photograph of the National Theatre's staging of Way Upstream in 1982 in the Lyttelton just prior to the water being added to the tank. Famously, the tank would split and spill its entire contents into the bowels of the building, closing the entire National Theatre for several days.

Copyright: National Theatre
Holding: Ayckbourn Digital Archive

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For the National Theatre's production of Way Upstream in 1982, a decision was made to put all the crew controlling the boat within the boat itself! This led to numerous issues including illness and disorientation from essentially been shut in a confined dark space for three hours a night. It was one of several poor decisions by the National Theatre relating to the play.

Copyright: National Theatre
Holding: Borthwick Institute For Archives

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A press release noting the many issues which affected Way Upstream at the National Theatre in 1982 and which delayed the opening night by two months.

Copyright: National Theatre
Holding: Borthwick Institute For Archives

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A production image from Way Upstream at the National Theatre during 1982. Once the play was finally up and running, it was actually a success, although by then the damage had been done with so much negative publicity.

Copyright: National Theatre
Holding: Borthwick Institute For Archives

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Way Upstream was made into a film by the BBC in 1988 and filmed on an actual cruiser on a river. However, the adaptation took liberties with the climax of the play which became increasingly surreal including a nightmare sequence which saw Fleur appearing in the cruiser as a vampiric entity!

Copyright: BBC
Holding: Ayckbourn Digital Archive

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An unused concept for a poster for Alan Ayckbourn's revival of Way Upstream at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, during 2003.

Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Holding: Ayckbourn Digital Archive

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The set being prepared for Salisbury Playhouse's 2011 revival of Way Upstream. Unusually the production was staged two-sided or traverse.

Photographer: TBC (© Salisbury Playhouse)
Holding: Ayckbourn Digital Archive

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The extremely impressive set for Chichester Festival Theatre's 2015 revival of Way Upstream. The set included real trees and a cruiser which was mounted on a hydraulic arm beneath the water, allowing an unprecedented amount of movement on the 'river'

Photographer: Alastair Muir (© Alastair Muir)
Holding: Ayckbourn Digital Archive

Do not reproduce images without permission of the copyright holder.
The Scene and Archive Images pages are presented in association with the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, where the Ayckbourn Archive is held.

All images on this page are copyright of the respective and labelled individual / organisation and should not be reproduced without permission.
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