(b. 1939) English dramatist
playwright. His first London success, Relatively Speaking (1967, pub. 1968), was followed by many others, including Absurd Person Singular (1973, pub. 1974); The Norman Conquests (1974, pub. 1975; a trilogy); Absent Friends (1975, pub. 1975); and Joking Apart (1979, pub. 1979). The plays are comedies of suburban and middle‐class life, showing a keen sense of social nuance and of domestic misery and insensitivity, and displaying the virtuosity of Ayckbourn's stagecraft. Later plays include A Chorus of Disapproval (1986), Invisible Friends (1991), and Wildest Dreams (1993). His seventieth play, If I Were You, was performed in 2006.