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Portrait of a playwright



On public view for the first time, a John Bratby portrait of theatrical playwriting legend Alan Ayckbourn will be the centrepiece of a new exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery.

The Who am I? exhibition, from April 4, includes a range of portraits from the Scarborough Collection of local people, artists, royalty, and the aristocracy, the highlight being a portrait of the Scarborough-based Ayckbourn by "kitchen sink realist" Bratby (1928-1992).

Painted in the mid-1970s and loaned for the exhibition by Sir Alan and Lady Ayckbourn, the portrait has never been seen in public before. Bratby’s other subjects included Michael Caine, Paul McCartney, Iris Murdoch and Michael Palin.

Also on display will be a portrait of the Scarborough hotelier and art collector Tom Laughton, brother of Hollywood actor Charles Laughton, who donated several of the portraits to Scarborough Art Gallery.

Andrew Clay, chief executive of Scarborough museums and galleries, said: “We’d like to thank Sir Alan and Lady Ayckbourn for this rare chance to see this painting by the renowned portraitist .”


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