Jeeves / By Jeeves: Facts


Play Number: 18

World Premiere: 22 March 1975
Venue: Bristol Hippodrome

Premiere Staging: End-stage

Published: No
Other Media: Original cast recording

By Jeeves

World Premiere: 1 May 1996
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Premiere staging:

Other Media: Television; radio; original cast recording

7m / 3f
Run Time: 2hr 15m
  • Jeeves / By Jeeves is Alan Ayckbourn's 18th play; although not considered as separate plays for the sake of the play-list, By Jeeves and Jeeves are two very different and entirely separate musicals.
  • The world premiere of Jeeves was held at the Bristol Hippodrome on 22 March 1975. It then transferred to Her Majesty's Theatre, London, on 22 April 1975.
  • The world premiere of By Jeeves took place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 1 May 1996. It then transferred to the Duke Of York's Theatre, London, on 2 July 1996 before transferring to the Lyric Theatre, London, on 3 October 1996.
  • Jeeves was Alan Ayckbourn's first attempt at a musical. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music whilst Alan wrote the book and lyrics; prior to this he had never written lyrics!
  • Jeeves was a notorious West End flop, closing a month after it opened; it is not, however, Alan Ayckbourn's shortest West End run. That honour goes to Mr Whatnot and its two week run.
  • The original (and only!) production of Jeeves was notable for having a lyricist who had never written lyrics (Alan Ayckbourn), a composer who had never written a book musical (Andrew Lloyd Webber), a director who had never directed a musical (Eric Thompson), a choreographer who had never choreographed for a musical (Christopher Bruce), a designer who had never designed for a West End show (Voytek) and a lead actor who had never sung or appeared on the West End stage before (David Hemmings).
  • By Jeeves ("a mostly new musical by Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber") was the first production to be staged at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and was the opening show for the building.
  • An original cast recording of By Jeeves was recorded during two performances at Scarborough and edited and mixed on site in a mobile studio to be released for sale at the theatre during the original run of the musical!
  • By Jeeves won the TMA Regional Theatre Awards Best Musical in 1996.
  • Alan Ayckbourn would go on to direct By Jeeves several times in North America between 1996 and 2001, beginning at the Norma Terris Theatre at the Goodspeed Opera House, Chester.
  • By Jeeves opened on Broadway on 30 December 2001 at the Helen Hayes Theatre; it marked the first time Alan Ayckbourn had directed on Broadway (previously he had only co-directed Bedroom Farce with Peter Hall).
  • By Jeeves was adapted for the radio in 1996 marking the first time Alan Ayckbourn himself had adapted one of his works for radio. It was later recorded for television in 2001 and also marked the first time Alan Ayckbourn had written a screenplay adaptation of one of his existing works which was then filmed. He also co-directed the television production.