Sing along with Ayckbourn

9th December 1994 at 00:00
The Musical Jigsaw Play, By Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Alan Ayckbourn's new play for children, unveiled in time for the Christmas season, is another brilliantly conceived entertainment.

The Musical Jigsaw Play is inspired by his well-known fondness for weird and whacky board games and it has many of the ingredients his young fans have come to expect.

A nondescript, nay truly awful, rock group are trapped in a sort of musical oblivion. They have no idea where they are or why they are - a cue for some wickedly funny word plays and mock-philosophical questioning that soon had the first night audience, mainly youngsters, in pained and loud hysterics.

The group want to escape and their only means to do so is to create a hit record, but first they have to complete a huge jigsaw cum mosaic with audience help. The house lights go up, volunteers are called forward to help the actors and everyone gets excited. But if the volunteers are ever slow then there is a danger of the pace slackening and of course bored onlookers can get restless . . .

However, the action soon picks up with the creation of a song, or rather four songs initially, and then the four songs are put together for a final rousing few minutes when everyone sings what has become the hit record. The atmosphere throughout is wonderfully enthusiastic and everyone has a fun time.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today