The Karaoke Theatre Company: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's The Karaoke Theatre Company.

What is Alan Ayckbourn's The Karaoke Theatre Company?
The Karaoke Theatre Company is a piece written by Alan Ayckbourn. He describes it as a ‘live entertainment’ due to the fact it features improvisational elements and interaction from the audience.

Did Alan Ayckbourn write The Karaoke Theatre Company?
Yes. The Karaoke Theatre Company has a script, written by Alan Ayckbourn, but which departs from more conventional Ayckbourn works in having sections which are set in stone with other sections which can be improvised around. But the script has been written by Alan Ayckbourn.

Is The Karaoke Theatre Company an organisation Alan Ayckbourn is endorsing?
No. Alan Ayckbourn wrote a play which features a fictional theatre company - The Karaoke Theatre Company - which he invented. The show and, ideally, promotional materials, pretend this is a real theatre company which has taken an idea Alan suggested to them and exploited it. It is no more real than the Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society from A Chorus Of Disapproval with actors playing the members of The Karaoke Theatre Company.

So there is no actual Karaoke Theatre Company?
No, it is a fictional company whose actors are portrayed by actual actors around which an evening's entertainment is built. The play pretends The Karaoke Theatre Company is an actual company which was founded in association with Alan Ayckbourn, but it is just a staged play which features a set script which allows for improvisation and audience interaction.

Karaoke implies singing, will audience members have to sing?
No. There is no singing within The Karaoke Theatre Company. There is the opportunity for audience participation in the shape of acting, reading and creating foley / sound effects but there is no singing.

Are audiences made to participate? / Do audiences have to participate?
No. It is entirely voluntary. No-one is made to participate that does not want to nor pressured into volunteering. It is hoped audiences will embrace the concept and participate – whether providing sound effects or taking an on-stage role, but there is no pressure to do anything other than sit back and enjoy the fun.

Is The Karaoke Theatre Company Alan Ayckbourn’s 80th play?
No. Due to the improvisational and participatory elements and the lack of a completely set script, Alan Ayckbourn does not consider this to be one of his full-length plays and describes it instead as a 'live entertainment' or 'a party'. Alan Ayckbourn’s 80th play is Consuming Passions.

I still don’t understand. What is The Karaoke Theatre Company?
The Karaoke Theatre Company is a show featuring a fictional theatre company, created by Alan Ayckbourn, to explore the concept of live theatre. It is a work written (and originally directed) by the playwright which allows audience participation, thus creating a show which will be different every night depending on the audience’s responses and the interaction between the actors and audience.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.