Better Off Dead

Full-Length Play

Larger than life and highly irascible author Algy Waterbridge is hard at work on his 33rd crime novel featuring blunt Yorkshire cop DCI Tommy Middlebrass. But it’s been a while since Tommy was on the TV, Algy’s wife is getting frighteningly forgetful and his adoring PA sometimes oversteps the mark. With constant interruptions, it’s almost the last straw when old acquaintance Gus Crewe turns up to interview him for the press, with alarming consequences.



Irascible author Algy Waterbridge is hard at work on his thirty-third crime novel.

While Algy’s wife is getting more forgetful, and his PA frequently oversteps the mark, the constant interruptions come to a head with an unfortunate newspaper interview. As Algy’s fictional characters take over, the lines between fiction and reality become blurred.

A comedy of confusion about a grumpy old man who might not be so grumpy after all.


"Bleakly funny reflection of the struggles of the creative process." – The Stage

"The jokes are good and the tragicomic trajectory is resonantly autumnal." – The Times


10 Alan Ayckbourn Plays and Musicals to Perform
by Cathy Thomas
August 13, 2019

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Alan Ayckbourn

A playwright and theatre director, to date Alan Ayckbourn has written 89 plays – Family Album attracted four-star reviews when it premiered in September 2022 at the Stephen Joseph, where nearly all his plays are first staged.

However, this year he will stage his 88th play Welc ...

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