Communicating Doors: Chronological Timeline

When originally writing Communicating Doors, Alan Ayckbourn kept a note of what was happening when and to whom. These notes are organised below (original timeline) alongside the website's attempt to show how the timeline is altered by the events of the play (altered timeline).

Original Timeline

Prior to 1974
Julian kills his own mother.

1974
At this point: Reece is 30, Jessica is 25, Julian is 25, Ruella is 25.
Reece & Jessica are married. They honeymoon at the Regal Hotel.



1975
Jessica & Reece's daughter, Rachel, is born on 21 March.



1981
Poopay (Phoebe) is born
Jessica is murdered by Julian on 15 August 1981, aged 32.

1982
Reece marries Ruella when he is 38 and she is 33.

1983
Ruella & Reece's son, Thomas, is born.


1994
At this point: Reece is 50, Julian is 45, Ruella is 45, Poopay is 13.
Ruella plans to divorce Reece.
Ruella is murdered by Julian on 5 October, aged 45 at the Regal Hotel in room 647.







Prior to 2013
Poopay enters the sex trade, at least eight years previously.



2014
At this point: Reece is 70, Julian is 65, Harold is 75, Poopay is 33.
Reece writes a confession about the murders of Jessica and Ruella which he gives to Poopay on 25 July.
Threatened by Julian, Poopay steps through a hotel communicating door.

Altered Timeline

Prior to 1974
> Julian kills his own mother.

1974
At this point: Reece is 30, Jessica is 25, Julian is 25, Ruella is 25.
Reece & Jessica are married. They honeymoon at the Regal Hotel.
Ruella comes back in time from 1994 and warns Jessica about the future; she gives Jessica a note.

1975
Jessica & Reece's daughter, Rachel, is born on 21 March.
Jessica reads Ruella's note on 22 March, which convinces her Ruella was telling the truth about her future.

1981
Phoebe (Poopay) is born.
Jessica divorces Reece having avoided getting murdered by Julian.

1982
Reece marries Ruella when he is 38 and she is 33.

1983
Ruella & Reece's son, Thomas, is born.
Jessica marries Count Rory Rizzini.

1994
At this point: Reece is 50, Jessica is 45, Julian is 45, Ruella is 45, Phoebe is 13.
Jessica returns to the Regal Hotel on 4 October and waits in the store room next to room 647 intent on saving Ruella.
Poopay comes back in time from 2014 and warns Ruella on 5 October that Julian will kill her that day.*
Julian is killed on 5 October. He has apparently fallen from the hotel balcony window.

Circa 1995
Ruella and Reece adopt Phoebe.

Prior to 2013
Phoebe marries and has at least two children.

2013
Ruella dies of natural causes in June, aged 64.

2014
At this point: Reece is 70, Jessica is (presumably) 65, Phoebe is 33.




* Julian also comes back to 1994 from 2014, but slips on a bar of soap and is killed whilst attempting to murder Phoebe (Poopay). His body disappears shortly after his 1994 counterpart falls from the balcony as he obviously did not live until 2014 to come back through the communicating door.
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn / Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.