Piese de Alan Ayckbourn

A Talk in the Park.
Five characters on four park benches shift around and attempt to strike up a conversation with each other, only to be rebuffed. Total alienation is the result. Everybody wants somebody to dump on, nobody wants to be dumped upon.
Absent Friends
Colin's friends are determined to comfort him in his grief over the death of his fianc
Absurd Person Singular
We visit three couples in their three kitchens on the Christmas Eves of three successive years: the lower-class Hopcrofts; their bank manager and his wife and their architect neighbour with a suicidal wife. Running like a darker thread through the wild comedy of behind-the-scenes disasters at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts and the declines of the others.
Awakening Beauty
tells the familiar story of Sleeping Beauty, otherwise known as the princess Aurora (Alice Fearn), who, on her 18th birthday, pricks her finger and falls asleep for 100 years because of a curse placed on her by her wicked godmother, Carabosse. As in the classic, a handsome prince (Duncan Patrick) arrives to wake her with a kiss. In this instance, however, happy ever after isn't looking quite so assured because Carabosse decides she has also fallen in love. Denis King provides the music for Ayckbourn's lyrics and book. Lyn Gardner, Guardian
Backnumbers was a compilation of songs from previous revues by Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd. There were two variants of it: Tuesday and Thursday, each with different songs and a different cast.
Bedroom Farce
Three bedrooms are presented simultaneously on stage and the action between three households flows in and out from one to the other during this hectic night. There are Ernest and Delia celebrating an anniversary with pilchards on toast after a disastrous meal out; Malcolm and Kate preparing a house-warming party and Nick and Jan, the former resting his injured back in bed. The marital disasters of Trevor and Susannah weave in out and out of the bedrooms.
Between Mouthfuls
In the same hotel dining-room, the conversations of two couples are overheard by the waiter. Mrs Pearce is convinced her husband Walter, just back from Italy on business, has been having an affair. At another table, out of their sight, sit Walter' s job-obsessed employee Martin and wife Polly. She is so infuriated at Martin's lack of interest in her that she confesses her solo holiday was spent with boss Walter. The two women storm out, the two men meet and leave together, laughing and chatting.
Between The Lines
Between The Lines was a revue compiled from songs by Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd, loosely arranged into a love triangle story. The book was written by Paul Todd and it is to be emphasised that Alan is credited solely as the lyricist for this piece.
Body Language
Journalist Jo has a problem with her body. She hates the sight of it. The more she eats and drinks to forget it, the more of it there is to remind her. Photographic model Angie has a problem too. People won't stop looking at hers. Women with envy or sometimes open hostility. Men with - well, God knows what the men are thinking. But what if Amd Gie and Jo could choose to change places with each other? And what if they didn't have any choice in the matter?
Boy Meets Girl
linked lunch time show
Boy Who Fell Into A Book
A cautionary tale about reading in bed, that's full of laughs, a few scares and a lot of music! When Kevin falls asleep in the middle of an un-put-down-able book, he wakes to find himself in the thick of the action and in considerable danger. How will he ever get home again? The simple solution, of course, is to work his way back along the bookshelf towards his bed. But what other books will he have to pass through to get there? Will they prove equally as challenging? Help. . .!
By Jeeves
Proudly presenting an evening in the company of that celebrated raconteur, man about town, wit, bon viveur and banjo player extraordinaire, Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, Esq. . .. . .Or so the published programme would have it .But, alas, even men of genius can have their plans thwarted. How can any banjo player, however gifted, begin to pluck a note when some philistine has stolen his instrument, by George? How can he possibly hope to entertain the eager throng until a replacement banjo arrives, by Jove? Is there no one to step in and snatch the charred streaky from the bonfire, by Jeeves? By Jeeves. . .
Callisto 5
For eight years, young Jem has sat in space station Callisto 5, patiently awaiting the return of his parents. Eight years. . . with only Damaris (the robot nanny) and the disembodied voice of Iris (the computer) for company. Eight years of macaroni cheese for breakfast, lunch and supper. . .It's enough to drive a boy crazy - until a new, unexpected, and rather dangerous creature arrives on Callisto
Callisto 7
Thirteen year old Jodi and her nine-year old brother Jem have spent the past five years abandoned on a uniplex on the moon of Callisto. With only the computer IRIS and the malfunctioning PADWAC for company, they have become restless. But they must learn to work together when a monster, invisible except to video, infiltrates the uniplex. Eventually the monster is defeated and revealed to be a game engineered by IRIS. At the same time, the children's parents return having been marooned during a rescue mission to help the other Uniplexes.
Champion Of Paribanou
An adventure, a love story, a fantasy. . .Murganah loves Ahmed, Ahmed loves Murganah. But he is a royal prince and is destined for a world that can never include a lowly maidservant. This is the story of the two different paths they choose - one right and one wrong. And of their final fateful meeting. . .And of a magic carpet. And of an incredible mechanical man. And of an enchanted cave. And of a meeting with the bookmarker creature. And of a magic apple. And of much, much more. . .
Cheap And Cheerful
Remember revue as it used to be? Dazzling dance routines, glittering costumes, a full chorus with a 20 piece orchestra, witty quickfire sketches, a whirling extravaganza of sound and colour. . .?Well forget all that. Instead, welcome to the real world of modern, low budget, underfunded enjoyment .BUT NEVER FEAR! Fortunately, we have managed to secure the services of The Very Last Actor We Can Afford This Year - entertainer Reg Pittock, fresh from his highly successful holiday camp season at Portsea. Singer, dancer and all round entertainer Reg (plus a few promised special guest friends) will keep you in stitches, humming along with your toes tapping.
Chorus Of Disapproval, A
Amateur operatic society mirrors Beggar's Opera. British embarrassment in face of emotion.
Christmas v Mastermind
Father Christmas faced with a strike by his gnomes. "The most disastrous play I have ever done".
Comic Potential
Is comedy humanity's divine gift? Or its own invention, designed to make the rest of life bearable? Either way, could it conceivably be appreciated by a mere machine? And could such laughter ever lead to love? Adam and JCF 31333, star-crossed, mis-matched lovers of the next millennium, face an uncertain future where everything has changed except human nature. Two of the television crew are an "item".
Communicating Doors
A non-descript hotel room in 2014. Poopay Dayseer, a professional dominatrix, arrives to service the dying Reece. He has actually hired her in a desperate bid to witness a confession to having both his wives murdered by his assistant, Julian. Poopay signs and attempts to leave with the confession, but Julian spots it and tries to kill her. She escapes through a communicating door, without the confession.Poopay steps back into the room and into the year 1994. She is startled by Ruella, Reece’s second wife, who is about to be murdered. Ruella reveals she is planning to divorce Reece because of his illegal business activities. She also believes Julian killed his own mother. Ruella does not believe Poopay’s warning about her impending death and only listens when Poopay reveals how Reece’s first wife, Jessica, died in 1981.
Confusions consists of five short one act plays performed by an ensemble of five people. The plays are Mother Figure (1m/2f); Drinking Companion (1m/2f); Between Mouthfuls (3m/2f); Gosforth's Fete (3m/2f); A Talk In The Park (3m/2f).
Countdown is a short one-act play concerning two people who reveal how each other's habits and familiar phrases irritate them. While apparently cordial in dialogue, their true feelings are revealed through spoken thoughts. Although traditionally traced back to the West End revue Mixed Doubles, premiered in 1969, it has a rather more convoluted history.
Cut In The Rates, A
A one-act play which was written specifically to be performed as part of a television documentary. It is not a screenplay or a television play though, rather a short play that just happened to have been first broadcast on television. The play was written as a means of demonstrating the production process of a play for an educational documentary. The programme offered an insight into the full production process in small scale, showing preparations, rehearsals and the production process for the play before a complete final performance.
Dad's Tale
t is Christmas and a cockney family are gathered for Christmas dinner: unemployed Dad, his son Martin, Martin’s girlfriend Jenny and his Auntie.However, the bailiffs take all the family’s worldly possessions including their turkey dinner. Faced with the prospect of beef dripping and struggling to cope with their poor Christmas, the family imagine themselves in happier situations: Auntie goes shopping; Jenny ice-skates; Martin joins the circus.After the theft of the neighbour’s dinner by Dad, the play concludes with Dad rubbishing Auntie’s claims that items have been disappearing due to the fairy-like Tinies. At which point, the creatures appear and turn Dad into a budgie who flies away into the night.
Damsels In Distress
In a Docklands apartment, 16 year old Sorrell lives with her single mother Lynette. Times are hard following her parent’s split and with Lynette’s internet company going under and, much to Sorrell’s horror, Lynette believes they may have to move away from London. Sorrell decides to be pro-active and press-gangs her best friend Kelly into helping her with a rather desperate plan, inspired by a rather dubious role-model of a girl expelled from their school. Sorrell buys herself a mobile phone and advertises herself on the internet as a classy call-girl, keeping this from her mother and only using the flat for ‘business’ when Lynette is at work. The girls manage to eventually arrange their first client and Kelly agrees to deal with the ‘front of house’ aspects of the transaction and be responsible for securing necessities such as condoms – bought in bulk from her own spending money. Sorrell meanwhile becomes Mandy, a latex and leather corseted call girl, barely able to breathe in her outfit and walk in her heels. The first client is Leo, a dapper forty-something who appears less interested in the sex than in talking about his late wife. Following some increasingly desperate attempts to get Leo into the bedroom, Sorrel eventually drags him in, telling Kelly to intervene if she screams. In a Docklands apartment, 16 year old Sorrell lives with her single mother Lynette. Times are hard following her parent’s split and with Lynette’s internet company going under and, much to Sorrell’s horror, Lynette believes they may have to move away from London. Sorrell decides to be pro-active and press-gangs her best friend Kelly into helping her with a rather desperate plan, inspired by a rather dubious role-model of a girl expelled from their school.
Double Hitch
Is classified as one of Alan Ayckbourn's Grey Plays. These are plays which are acknowledged miscellaneous minor pieces by Alan Ayckbourn, which have received limited performance but have never been published, are not available for production and are not included in the official canon of Ayckbourn plays.
Dreams From A Summer House
A garden party is being held at a house in Leatherhead; the party is just out of view and a summer house and a treehouse are visible. In the treehouse, a young woman, Mel, brings some food to the illustrator Robert, who is divorced from her sister Amanda. Her parents are fond of Robert though and have agreed to let him stay in the summer house. Unfortunately Amanda is returning from a holiday early and all are terrified of her reaction to Robert's precense. Robert upsets Mel and ends up drinking whisky with her father and after a chauvinistic tirade, begins to sing, alone, to his painting of Belle from Beauty And The Beast. Suddenly, the subject of his painting appears explaining she has escaped from Baldemar the Beast and can only speak through song. This poses problems for Amanda’s parents who interrupt the meeting. Amanda returns with new husband, Sinclair, and will not sing. The men are impressed by Belle, the women less so – particularly Amanda who has an outburst, only for the Beast to appear. He grabs Amanda and disappears. Belle offers a theory as to what has happened and explains the Beast cannot hurt Amanda, who has been chained up in the Beast’s lair. She is threatened with a fate worse than death unless she sings to him. Eventually desperate for food, she sings a strange little ditty. The effect is to make Beast try and talk to Amanda, she seizes on this and begins to dominate and belittle him.
Drinking Companion
Husband Harry tries to get young perfume demonstrator Paula up to his room. He succeeds in getting her tipsy, but the arrival of her more experienced friend Bernice puts paid to his pathetic seduction attempts.
Drowning On Dry Land
Charlie is the current media darling and a party is being held for his son in the grounds of his home. In the shadow of a folly, Marsha, a clown, is being briefed by Charlie’s wife, Linzi – once also famous. Cracks in the couple’s relationship are already obvious: she misses her fame and is irate that Charlie is missing the party for an interview with rising TV journalist Gale Gilchrist. Charlie arrives and meets a dumb-struck Marsha, now dressed as Mr Chortles. Gale arrives late and enters the folly, discovering it gives the impression of climbing to the top, but it is an illusion and the exit is a just a few feet away; no-one has ever been to the tower-top. Charlie’s agent Jason joins them for the interview and Charlie reveals he is famous because he fails at everything. Gale suggests Charlie is failing on purpose, but he genuinely believes he’s ‘useless’. Misreading the signs and unaware she is a lesbian, Charles makes a pass at Gale, who leaves when Charlie enters the folly. Charlie exits and meets ‘Mr Chortles’, opening his heart and questioning his success. Marsha asks for an autograph – on her thigh; the pair end up interlocked as Linzi enters with two girls followed by Gale and Jason. Marsha flees into the folly, leaving Charlie with her bloomers. Marsha enters, confused, from the folly exit. Sees everyone and flees back into the folly…. Two weeks later, Charlie is on his way down the celebrity ladder and Marsha is pressing sexual intimidation and indecent assault charges. Charlie’s lawyer, Hugo, has arranged a meeting with Marsha and her lawyer, Simeon. It quickly turns into an interrogation during which Marsha is humiliated by Hugo, culminating in her tearing off her clothes and declaring she’s a woman. Satisfied, they won’t go to court, Higo promises to arrange a settlement, before telling Charlie that Linzi has begun divorce proceedings.
Ernie's Incredible Illucinations
Twenty quid now? Or a royalty? asked the editor. I chose the royalty. A shrewd decision as it turned out. Though it has meant generations of youngsters (including my own near thirty-year-olds) coming up to me to tell me they once played it at school."
Family Circles
Polly, Jenny and Deidre come down to their parents' home for the weekend to help them celebrate their anniversary. Polly and Jenny have their husbands in tow and Deirdre her current man. Looming over the weekend is a persistent rumour that, despite all appearances to the contrary, something is going seriously wrong between Mum and Dad - indeed, that he is trying to do away with her - and right to the end there are little pieces of circumstantial evidence that may be interpreted as hinting at the truth of the rumour. The scenes of the play cover the arrival of the girls and their men: preparing to leave for the celebration dinner; returning from the dinner, and the following morning. By a theatrical conceit (for it is not intended naturalistically as a wife-swapping exercise), the author has each girl paired with a different man in each of the first three scenes, and in the final scene all nine permutations are intermingled, which makes for a hectic denouement. It is difficult to resist Ayckbourn's own assessment of the play when he says, "It is probably not vintage, but it's got a few good laughs in it, the premise of the play being that, depending upon whom you marry, you become slightly different. And it's quite fun to watch.
First Course
There is no plot to the piece, presenting as it does a perspective of 10 decades through 10 songs as seen through the eyes of the writer and composer. The revue has never been published, but is available for production. First Course is a tour through the decades from 1890 to 1980 with each song linked by a short sketch; it is not a parody rather more individual and biased perspectives of each decade.
In a Docklands apartment, Rosie is working as a temporary cleaner. She is an out of work actress, single and desperate for a man. The doorbell rings and an attractive man and spare-time magician called Sam introduces himself as the neighbour. Rosie pretends to be the owner of the flat and after a nervous and confusing introduction, agrees to let him come round and cook dinner for them. He leaves and Rosie realises she had better find out who really owns the flat if she is going to take on the ‘role’. Meanwhile, several mysterious phone calls are made to the flat and another visitor arrives, all of which Rosie ignores. Having looked through the owner Joanna Rupelford’s wardrobe. Rosie gets into the character for the evening and an evening of Gnocchi with Sam. Just before they get into the bedroom, Sam makes a call and leaves Rosie. Frustrated and disappointed by being stood up, she is equally surprised when a pair of black-clad heavies, Tracy and Tommy, enter the flat and announce they are the ‘good guys’; although Tracy seems intent on flattening Rosie, or anyone else that rubs her up the wrong way.
Follow The Lover
Follow The Lover is classified as one of Alan Ayckbourn's Grey Plays. These are plays which are acknowledged miscellaneous minor pieces by Alan Ayckbourn, which have received limited performance but have never been published, are not available for production and are not included in the official canon of Ayckbourn plays.
Forest, The
Game Plan
In a Docklands apartment, 16 year old Sorrell lives with her single mother Lynette. Times are hard following her parent’s split and with Lynette’s internet company going under and, much to Sorrell’s horror, Lynette believes they may have to move away from London. Sorrell decides to be pro-active and press-gangs her best friend Kelly into helping her with a rather desperate plan, inspired by a rather dubious role-model of a girl expelled from their school. Sorrell buys herself a mobile phone and advertises herself on the internet as a classy call-girl, keeping this from her mother and only using the flat for ‘business’ when Lynette is at work. The girls manage to eventually arrange their first client and Kelly agrees to deal with the ‘front of house’ aspects of the transaction and be responsible for securing necessities such as condoms – bought in bulk from her own spending money. Sorrell meanwhile becomes Mandy, a latex and leather corseted call girl, barely able to breathe in her outfit and walk in her heels. The first client is Leo, a dapper forty-something who appears less interested in the sex than in talking about his late wife. Following some increasingly desperate attempts to get Leo into the bedroom, Sorrel eventually drags him in, telling Kelly to intervene if she screams.
Garden (House & Garden)
The play is the second part of a diptych (or linked pair) of plays. Act I of each play takes place in the morning, before lunch, and Act II in the afternoon, of a single Saturday in August. In this one preparations are underway for the fête, which is seemingly organised every year by Barry and Lindy Love, who are kept busy throughout the first act erecting tents and putting up side shows. We see the development of the unconventional relationship between Izzie, the Platts' housekeeper, Pearl, her daughter, and Warn, the Platts' taciturn gardener. We witness Trish's denouement with Jo. Jo, finally realising that her affair with Teddy has not been kept secret, faces up to the consequences with limited effectiveness. During an afternoon downpour, which is just one of many mishaps to befall the fête, we also witness the hilarious consummation of Teddy's and Lucille's infatuation. Lindy's exasperation with the boredom of her marriage to the patronising Barry finally hits home, and she quietly absconds to London with Ryng-Mayne in his Porsche. As Lucille is carted off to the alcoholics' clinic, Trish leaves, and Teddy is left alone on stage.
Girl Meets Boy
There is no plot as such to Boy Meets Girl / Girl Meets Boy. It is set in a restaurant and offers a wry look at relationships. There are three actors: a man, woman and another actress who does not speak. The songs are not titled and are introduced as part of the narrative, a technique Ayckbourn uses in the vast majority of his full-length plays with music.
The play has proved to be popular with school and youth drama groups, offering a challenging and entertaining performance piece for young actors. Set in the near future, it is about an amazing device which when fitted allows a body to be controlled by someone else - it is intended as a medical device for paralyzed people. Naturally, the controller falls into the wrong hands and the device is used for criminal purposes - with an unwitting host in tow.
Gosforth's Fete
Mrs Pearce is the guest speaker at a charity 'do' organized by whirlwind publican Gosforth. The event is a total shambles, with his helper Millie telling Gosforth she is pregnant by him and the news being inadvertently broadcast around the field on the PA system, much to the humiliation of her cubmaster fiancé Stewart. Rain, the Vicar, naughty cubs and an electrocuted Mrs Pearce put paid to the rest of the event.
Haunting Julia
Julia Lukin was a musical prodigy who committed suicide 12 years earlier. Her father Joe has never come to terms with her death and in the Julia Larkin Centre For Performing Studies, he hopes to discover what happened by meeting with a psychic, Ken, and Julia’s boyfriend, Andy, who was the last person to see her alive. The men meet in Julia’s preserved bedroom and Joe reveals that he believes Julia is trying to contact him; haunting him in order to explain what happened. Between the three men, the story of Julia’s life and death is gradually revealed - often at odds with what each man believes he knew. Julia had ultimately been unable to cope with the pressures of both her father and her overwhelming musical gift. Joe, of course, is unwilling to accept his love could ever have led to Julia’s suicide, while Andy is still guilt-ridden about whether he could have prevented the tragedy had he not broken up with her that night. Ken attempts to contact Julia, but is revealed to be a hoax when he picks up Julia’s teddy-bear to receive a message. The bear is a plant, the original long since lost. Ken reveals he has waited many years to meet Joe to explain he knew Julia; that she would come and find refuge in his and his wife’s normal life and that, contrary to what may have been said, Julia told him at the end she loved her father.
Henceforward . . .
The composer Jerome lives alone. His only company is music technology and a malfunctioning robot, NAN 300F. Jerome has been blighted by artistic block ever since his wife, Corinna, left with their daughter, Geain, years earlier. Desperate to see his daughter again, he has decided to deceive his wife and a representative from the Department of Child Wellbeing. The key to this is the actress Zoë, who arrives at the flat having been attacked by the gang the Daughters Of Darkness. She agrees to Jerome’s plan and the two discover a mutual attraction and make love. Zoë is later horrified to discover Jerome has recorded their lovemaking, so she leaves. Jerome reprogrammes Nan to sound and look like Zoë. When Corinna, Geain and the social worker, arrive, Jerome introduces the robot as his new fiancée, Zoë. Corinna cannot believe how ‘perfect’ Zoë is, while Jerome is horrified to discover the daughter he longs to see is now claiming to be a boy and a member of the gang Sons Of Bitches. Corinna admits she cannot cope with Geain and watches in disbelief as Zoë apparently calms Geain, who reveals Zoë is a robot. In the confusion, Corinna reveals she still loves Jerome and implores him to return with them and Jerome agrees. Nan, having fulfilled her programming as a nanny, shuts down. Just as Jerome leaves to join his family, he returns to his equipment and finds the sample of his wife’s declaration. Inspired by the passion and honesty of the word ‘love’, Jerome begins composing his masterpiece.
House (House & Garden)
The play is the first part of a diptych (or linked pair) of plays. Act I of each play takes place in the morning, before lunch, and Act II in the afternoon, of a single Saturday in August. Teddy and Trish Platt's marriage is breaking up because of Teddy's affair with their near neighbour Jo Mace. Jake Mace, Giles and Jo's son, is in love with Teddy and Trish's politically aware daughter, Sally, although his regard for her seems not to be reciprocated. It is the day of the garden fête, and the French film actress Lucille Cadeau arrives to open it. The novelist and political advisor Gavin Ryng-Mayne also arrives for lunch, in order to sound Teddy out about continuing his family's tradition of standing for Parliament. Although Lucille speaks no English, everyone except Teddy seems to be able to speak French. Even so, Teddy hits it off with Lucille over lunch, but he completely fails to convince Ryng-Mayne that he is up to politics, and equally fails to save his marriage. We also witness Ryng-Mayne's callous upsetting of Sally. Trish, after a heart-to-heart talk with Jake, leaves for good, and Jake at last gets around, albeit awkwardly, to asking Sally to go out with him.
Cum iubește cealaltă jumătate (How The Other Half Loves)
Perechile sunt prinse într-o plasă de minciuni şi infidelităţi, într-o maşină de tocat neînţelegeri. Personajele se învârt în bucătăria cuplului modern: bărbatul care-şi înşală nevasta, soţia neglijată şi furioasă, amanta fatală şi imprevizibilă.
If I Were You
The play is set in parts of the Rodales' home including their kitchen, sitting room and bedroom. This also serves as an equivalent view of a local showroom of the BFRS Retail Furniture Warehouse. Mal and Jill Rodale awake to a normal day; we discover their marriage is on the rocks and they are not really communicating with each other. Mal, a rather aggressive manager at a home-fittings store with little empathy for his staff or customers, is having an affair largely conducted during his lunch-breaks. Jill, a house-wife, who has not worked for 15 years and patently regrets it, is also aware of Mal's infidelities. When their daughter Chrissie comes to visit Jill, she realises Chrissie is being physically abused by her husband Dean, who works with Mal. Meanwhile, Jill’s son Sam, struggling at school, is keen on acting and wants to appear in the school’s Shakespearean production. Jill supports Sam despite clear opposition from Mal, who believes acting is not for men and doubts his son’s sexuality. At the end of the day, Mal and Jill go to bed.
Improbable Fiction
The action takes place in the hall of Arnold's family home on the outskirts of a small country town. The time is the present - more or less. It is nearly Christmas and Arnold is holding a meeting of the Pendon Writers’ Circle, still recovering from their last meeting when a guest speaker drunkenly told them to actually “get the on with it”. All the members are frustrated writers: Jess, who is struggling with her historical romance; Grace, longing to write a children’s book for her long-since grown-up children, who has not progressed beyond pictures of Doblin the Goblin and Sid Squirrel; nerdy Clem with his conspiracy sci-fi stories and penchant for abusing the English language; Vivvi, whose detective fiction mirrors her desperate search for a good man; Brevis adapting The Pilgrim’s Progress into a musical. Only Arnold has published… instruction manuals.
Incidental Music
There is no running plot through Incidental Music, although the majority of songs have a plot of their own.
Inside Outside Slide Show, The
The plot sees Mrs Grimshaw trying to give a very serious illustrated lecture on how Edwardians used to live. But her assistant Clyde has different ideas, and not only gets everything wrong, but ends up falling into the slide projector.
Intimate Exchanges
Celia Teasdale enters her garden to have a cigarette. The doorbell rings and she decides whether to light her cigarette or not. Lionel Hepplewick comes to help with the garden. Sylvie comes out of the house and they bicker. Celia returns to announce her husband, Toby, may be leaving as headmaster and she may leave with him. Lionel is confronted by Sylvie who asks him whether they are going out. Celia goes into the shed and Miles Coombes appears to talk about her husband, Toby. Celia announces their relationship is failing and Toby has resorted to drink. Miles urges her to help save Toby’s career, despite his own feelings for Celia. Toby, disillusioned and angry, argues with Celia over his drinking and their marriage. Lionel and Celia fall for each other and plan to open a catering business together. Toby returns and suggests he and Celia take a walk. Lionel and Sylvie have done a little more than dance together. However, he criticises her clothing and limited ambitions, so she seeks help from Toby and Celia. Lionel is impressed and asks Sylvie to sleep with him.
Invisible Friends
Lucy is an ordinary teenager with an extraordinary imagination who, unhappy with her own family, revives her childhood fantasy friend, Zara. Initially, Lucy has lots of fun with Zara – although her low key malicious behaviour towards Lucy’s family offers a glimpse she may not be as perfect as Lucy believes. As a result of her relationship with Zara, Lucy begins to wish her invisible friend was a real part of her family. Consequently, Zara’s father and brother appear and show Lucy how to make her real family disappear. Lucy’s wishes away her family, but things do not quite go as expected when Lucy discovers her imaginary friend’s family is not as nice as she thought. She finds herself tormented and deprived of her own bed, made to play impossible games, doing household tasks and she is eventually shut out of her own house. Having being taught by Zara how to make things happen if you believe in them strongly enough, she makes a decision to restore her own family and to make Zara and her family vanish. The effort of this makes Lucy faint and when she awakens her own family is restored. Zara and her own family were all a dream – or were they?
It Could Be Any One Of Us
In a remote and dilapidated country house, three siblings share an antagonistic life together. All are artists who have failed to live up to their own, let alone anyone else’s, expectations. The older brother Mortimer is a composer who has never realised his youthful potential, his sister Jocelyn is a writer of thrillers who has never completed a novel and Brinton is a painter, who does not even let his family see his work. When Jocelyn’s partner, Norris – an insurance investigator with aspirations to be a real detective – arrives home and interrupts a recital by Mortimer, a row breaks out in which Mortimer reveals he intends to disinherit the family and give the house to a former student, Wendy Jones. Wendy, now a married mother, visits the house and promptly survives three attempts on her life. With most of the family away for the evening, Mortimer goes to bed and Wendy – with Norris watching over her – also attempts to sleep. A storm and the old house conspire to terrify Wendy and Norris, their terror compounded when Mortimer enters with a mortal blow to the head. With the police unwilling to take Norris’s claims of murder seriously, he attempts to solve the murder pinpointing three suspects: Jocelyn, Brinton and Jocelyn's 16 year old daughter, Amy.
About to give a charity banjo performance, Bertram Wooster discovers his banjo has been ‘stolen’ and replaced with a frying pan. With a call out for a replacement, his butler Jeeves suggests he instead recall one of his adventures with what props are available. Bertie, under the assumed name of Gussie Fink-Nottle, is facing Judge Watkyn Bassett having knocked a policeman’s helmet off. He is sentenced but problems immediately arise. The real Gussie appears at Bertie's flat, pronouncing his love for Madeline, daughter of Bassett. To impress Bassett, he has taken Bertie’s name and pretended to be the owner of the flat. Just to complicate matters, Basset also has a ward, Stephanie ‘Stiffy’ Byng, who wants Bertie to help her romance with The Revd Harold ‘Stinker’ Pinker. As Bertie has failed to respond, Stiffy has announced in The Times she is engaged to Bertie. In a bid to prevent disaster and Bassett reading The Times, Bertie decides to go to Bassett’s home, Totleigh Towers. Driving to the Towers, he picks up his friend Bingo Little and his intended love, Honoria Glossop, along the way. Honoria and Bertie were once an item to the annoyance of Bingo, who believes Honoria still holds a flame for Bertie. At the Towers, they meet Bassett's guest, the American Cyrus Budge III - who also has eyes on Madeline – and just to confuse matters, Bertie introduces himself as Bingo Little and Bingo is introduced as Gussie….
Joking Apart
The play is set in Richard and Anthea’s garden over twelve years on bonfire night, a summer tennis party, boxing day and their daughter Debbie’s 18th birthday. Richard and Anthea are a perfect unmarried couple, to whom everything comes very easily and whose genuine generosity, success and sensitivity seem to reflect badly on those around them. Over the 12 years we see Richard’s business partner Sven and his wife, Olive, become increasingly depressed at the ease of Richard’s success, despite Sven working so hard he eventually has a heart attack which drives him to deep bitterness at the unfairness of life. Brian, an employee, has a constant string of young girlfriends, all of whom are substitutes for Anthea, whom he has been obsessed with since he gave her shelter after the break up of her first marriage. Finally, there are the new neighbours, the vicar Hugh and his wife Louise. After Richard tears down the garden fence to make a larger communal garden for Hugh, the vicar misinterprets some interest in him from Anthea as a sign of love and he becomes possessed by the belief he is married to the wrong woman. His declaration of his love for Anthea leaves her genuinely confounded and helps drive Louise, combined with her inability to raise or communicate with her son, into manic depression. All are left poorer people by their relationship with Richard and Anthea, who are unaware that anything is wrong in their perfect world.
Jollies, The
It is shy Billy Jollie’s seventh birthday and his present is a trip to the circus to see the amazing Mr Magico. Billy’s father left the family two years ago and he is accompanied by his mother, Jilly - ‘a sort of mathematical genius’, and his 11 year old sister, Polly. During the show, Billy is invited to enter the Sacred Cabinet Of Shadan. But something goes wrong and when he returns he has aged 25 years! Jilly doesn’t believe the old Billy is really her son and also enters the Cabinet. She steps out 20 years younger! Mr Magico leaves rather swiftly and furtively, leaving the Jollies to deal with the police. Polly lies to the police, who become suspicious and visit the Jollies’ home the next day with a social worker. Unable to keep up a charade of a normal family – largely thanks to Billy being sick in the social worker’s handbag – it is decided the children (Polly and Jilly) should go into care. Faced with this prospect, the Jollies manage to outwit the police and go on the run. They take refuge in a garden shed in a large house, protected by a huge dog, Rambo. Apprehended by the housekeeper, Mrs Amplespoon, the girls have to become scullery maids to prevent Mrs Amplespoon from informing the police, whilst Billy is made to work in the garden and sleep in the barn.
Just Between Ourselves
Just Between Ourselves is set in a garage and garden over four successive birthdays beginning in February and ending the following January.Dennis is in his garage trying to mend a kettle; the garage being the place where Dennis appears to spend much of his life rather than with his wife, Vera, or his mother, Marjorie, who lodges with them. Dennis’s passion is for DIY, although he has no talent for it and he puts far more energy into this than into his wife, who constantly strives to get his attention. Unfortunately, when she does get it, it is as the brunt of his jokes demonstrated when she brings in Neil, who is interested in buying Dennis's car as a birthday present for his wife, Pam. Having ridiculed Vera for her clumsiness - which he dismisses as just a joke - he sings the praises of his mother who also seems determined to belittle Vera as much as possible implying Vera is not up to the task of caring for her son.
Life and Beth
Life & Beth opens on Christmas Eve, in the aftermath of the death of Beth's husband Gordon. It has not been an unhappy marriage, but Beth has - over the years - made every effort to paper over the cracks and present the image of a happy couple, even when it is hinted it has frequently been difficult for Beth to live with a man such as Gordon. In Beth's sitting / dining room, Gordon's sister, Connie, is singing the praises of her deceased brother to Beth hinting that Gordon was his family's favourite and she was another person living in the shadow of a revered but, it becomes increasingly clear, mediocre man. Connie makes it clear that she - and the rest of the family - do not believe that Beth can cope without Gordon and she is not to raise her hand to do anything this Christmas much to Beth's frustration. Beth, who obviously has a tense relationship with Connie, is more concerned about the family cat, Flagstaff, who disappeared on the day of Gordon's funeral. Unexpectedly, the local vicar, David, calls to offer his condolences. Connie is obviously taken with David - having practically been stalking his services - and is reluctant to leave him and Beth together. Once alone, we discover David is a gentle and genuinely good man, also bereaved, who strikes up a rapport with Beth as they discuss the almost farcical circumstances surrounding Gordon's death. In the kitchen, Connie is eavesdropping, patently of the belief that Beth is flirting with David, who suggests he say a prayer for Beth. Beth reluctantly agrees - only to be saved when her son Martin and his new girlfriend, Ella, arrive.
Living Together
The play show us three dovetailed accounts of events at a country house over one weekend; one shows us what happens in the dining-room, the next in the sitting-room and the third in the garden. The house belongs to an unseen but tyrannical invalid woman whose unattached daughter, Annie, cares for her. On the Saturday evening when the plays start, Annie's brother Reg and his wife Sarah have just arrived to take over nursing duties so that Annie can go away for the weekend. Reg, one of a number of Ayckbourn men who can never quite remember the names of his own children, probably hasn't thought about it at all, but Sarah assumes this has been arranged with Tom, the local vet, who has been hanging around Annie as fixedly as her old jumper but failing actually to court her. In fact, the weekend, in the less than raffishly exciting hideaway of a Sussex country town (East Grinstead), has been arranged with Norman, an assistant librarian ‘with a rather aimless sort of beard', who is prepared to court any body. Sarah - bossy, impatient, interfering but ultimately very vulnerable - soon talks Annie out of that but isn't persuasive enough to talk Tom into it. Norman, who has turned up expecting to take Annie away under the pretence of going to a librarians' conference, is therefore at a loose end about the house and free to wreak havoc, which he does. Interestingly, though, his ‘crimes' are all things the others to some extent encourage or need. Reg enjoys Norman's jokes. Tom thinks he is wise in the ways of the world and gives good advice. Annie wants to be swept off her feet by someone and Sarah is badly in need of attention and understanding of some kind.
Love After All
The play is set in 1910 in Scrimes' house with the living room and Angelica’s upstairs bedroom on view. Act 1 is set one summer morning, Act 2 on the following morning. Scrimes is a miser with plans to marry his daughter Angelica off to Rupert Hodge, the pig-breeding son of a local aristocrat and an obsessive meteorologist. Rupert is genuinely in love with Angelica, who thinks him rather dull and longs for a romantic hero. From her bedroom, Angelica and the maid Minta spot a passing stranger and wave to him; he waves back and makes for the house.
Making Tracks
The self-styled impresario Stan runs a recording studio, financed by the somewhat dubious businessman Wolfe. Unable to pay his debts, Stan stakes everything on the singer / songwriter Sandy Beige. However, her talents are limited and Stan seems doomed, particularly when Wolfe keeps turning up with his new partner, Lace – actually Stan’s ex-wife. Stan sees a solution to his predicament as he knows Lace has a very good voice. He persuades her to join him in a plot to save the studio. Sandy is brought in to record her ‘hit’ song in front of Wolfe. She is singing into a ‘dead’ microphone though, while the hidden Lace sings into a live microphone. This ploy works briefly until Sandy moves away from the microphone, yet the song continues. Wolfe is angry at the deception and things look bleak. However, Stan persuades Lace to sing a final number, Making Tracks, which obviously is a hit and persuades Wolfe not to close the studio.
Man Of The Moment
Man Of The Moment is set in the paved patio / pool area of a modern, moderate-sized villa in a Spanish speaking area of the Mediterranean. The villa can be glimpsed with doors leading from the living room to a shaded area. This leads to a sunken sunbathing area and the visible raised, angled corner of the deep end of the swimming pool.
Me, Myself, And I
Me, Myself And I was the fourth revue to feature a collaboration between Alan Ayckbourn and the composer Paul Todd and it followed their first successful full length musical, Suburban Strains, which had premiered in 1980. Me, Myself And I stands as the most well-known of their revues. The revue was originally in three separate parts (Me, Myself and I respectively) as well as having a separate Prologue and Epilogue. These were performed during lunchtimes in the studio at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round in 1981. The plots of the three pieces broadly intertwine showing the same events through the perspective of a woman’s ego, superego and id. The three female parts are thus played by different women, but both male parts are played by the same actor. The Prologue and Epilogue featured only the musicians reprising music from all three revues as well as some of their own compositions.
Men On Women On Men
The piece originated as a late night revue and features 25 sketches / songs which look at various aspects of the relationships and differences between men and women; it features two men and two women with 14 songs. The revue has never been published but an original cast recording was released on audio cassette during the duration of the show's original run, which has never been re-issued.
Mere Soup Songs
Late night cabaret on theme of not telling the truth.
Mind Over Murder
Alan Ayckbourn's first known attempt at writing a thriller, it follows a professor and policeman trying to discover who murdered the professor's sister.
Miss Yesterday
Fifteen year old Tammy and her friend Roz are trying to break into school to see tomorrow’s exam papers. Tammy, for whom failure is the norm, is spotted climbing the gate. Roz flees and Tammy is taken to the police station. Refusing to co-operate, she is taken home to face the wrath of her parents Andrew and Josie. They both despair of Tammy, jump to the wrong conclusions and even suggest she should be taken away for treatment! Sadly, Tammy cannot match her brother Ian’s high standards in the eyes of her parents. Locked in silence with her parents, Tammy eventually tries to explain, except her parents have fallen asleep. Roz comes to see Tammy, although she obviously has a crush on Ian, who shows far more understanding of Tammy’s situation than her parents. Ian offers Tammy some good advice and tells her to be herself. He leaves for a cricket match on his motorcycle. Later, Andrew comes to Tammy and announces Ian has died in a crash. Alone in a park, Tammy is approached by a stranger who seems to know a lot about Tammy and even appears to read her thoughts. She offers Tammy the opportunity to go back in time 24 hours. Tammy reluctantly agrees and finds herself back at the school-gates.
Mother Figure
Neglected by philandering traveller husband Harry, Lucy has 'reverted' to being a total mother figure. She has three small children, she is always in dressing-gown and slippers, and doesn't answer the phone or doorbell. When neighbour Rosemary comes in through the back door to tell her that Harry has been trying to make contact, Lucy is unable to treat her as an adult. Rosemary's husband Terry arrives, and Lucy's attitude is infectious; the couple quarrel, behave like, and are treated like, small children by Lucy, who successfully forces them to 'make up'.
Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays
Young Suzy and her dog Neville (a sort of pedigree Old English Wolf Boxer) live with her mother in a small cottage. Her father, taking part some years back in an International Balloon Race, never came down again. So with mother the sole breadwinner, their circumstances are somewhat reduced. Opposite them is a large deserted house with a wild garden where Suzy and Neville love to play - when they're not visiting their friend Mr Passerby, once a famous opera singer but now a council employee in charge of road markings. Things change when the sinister and mysterious Mr Accousticus buys the house. Birds stop singing, Mr Passerby loses his voice and, most disastrous, Neville loses his bark. Accousticus, it transpires, is a professional "Sound Stealer". Suzy and Neville alone are aware of the danger - her mother having become infatuated with Mr Accousticus's suave charms. While Mr Accousticus and Mother are dining a deux in the cottage, Suzy and Neville resolve to break in to the big house and recover the stolen sounds.
Mr Whatnot
Mr Whatnot, an innocent and silent piano tuner with an incredible imagination, falls in love with Lord Slingsby-Craddock’s engaged daughter Amanda when he goes to tune the piano at the family's home. Through a series of ever more surreal encounters, the piano-tuner engineers the chance to be with his love despite all the odds.
Musical Jigsaw Play, The
A group of musicians have plunged from the charts into a strange world where all the bad pop-groups go. Their only way out is to create a hit song - and the only way they can do that is with a little help from the audience.
My Sister Sadie
On a remote farm, 17 year old Luke and his mum Avril witness a military helicopter crash into a hillside. Soon after, the army and a scientist, Dr Thora Grayling, arrive. Back at the farm, a terrified young girl arrives pleading for help, apparently the sole survivor of the crash. Avril agrees to let her stay, but not in her recently deceased daughter June’s bedroom. Captain Leonard Lennox investigates the farm and Luke reveals his father left four years ago. The girl appears and introduces herself as Sadie; Avril convinces Lennox that Sadie is her daughter. Avril tells Luke that Sadie is a gift to make up for the loss of June. The next day, Luke is interrogated by Dr Grayling, but reveals nothing. At breakfast, Sadie exhibits strange behaviour by eating the cereal bowl and mimicking Luke’s behaviour. Later he teaches her chess and she beats him with remarkable speed and ease; irritated he challenges Sadie to arm-wrestle and is easily beaten again. They are interrupted when Lisa, Luke’s girlfriend, arrives. Alone, the girls argue about June’s locket which Sadie is wearing and Sadie almost breaks Lisa’s wrist in a cold, terrifying and detached manner.
My Very Own Story
Due to an unfortunate triple booking, three storytellers, Peter, Paul and Percy, arrive simultaneously each to tell his own story. After some acrimony, Percy wins out and is soon telling his story - a Victorian yarn featuring, to his dismay, Paul who has hi-jacked the leading role. Soon Peter in turn is continuing Percy's unresolved fable only to find Percy appearing in this. In due course, Peter appears in Paul's gothic story (an extension of Peter's forties tale) and together they reach a surprisingly happy conclusion.
Night Before The Morning After Show, The
Orvin - Champion of Champions
The play begins with a sword fight between Ulmar of Sollistis and Walmund of the Varne. At the end of the battle only Ulmar and Walmund are left standing. Walmund, already fatally injured, is over-powered by Ulmar, however Ulmar is interrupted by his clumsy squire, Orvin, he looses his concentration and is killed by Walmund who also then dies from his injuries. The Gods, the musical narrators of the play, condemn Orvin, who is left alone on the battlefield alone on the battlefield, for disrupting their legend. After a brief discussion it is decided that Orvin should take Ulmar’s place as the victorious warrior.While Orvin is being carried in triumph to Presupposia, Prince Dedrick and his servant Skeets are plotting to prevent the arranged marriage of his beautiful sister Delcine and Ulmar as this would make her Queen and therefore destroy his chance of ever becoming King. His scheming is made easier by his sister’s love for another man, the vain Lord Varian. Orvin, under the pretence of being his master Ulmar, rides to the castle to meet the Princess for the first time, but after taking one look at him she almost faints with disgust. The two are left alone and continue to exchange insults until Delcine, agitated and offended, leaves to persuade her father he is not a suitable husband. While she is gone Orvin become acquainted with her maid, Ola. They soon become friends but romantic tension between the pair is clearly present.
Princess And The Mouse, The
Alan Ayckbourn wrote four plays which were aimed specifically at very young children aged under eight years old. The aim was to encourage youngsters into theatre with a play written with a young audience solely in mind. His first of these plays was a new adaptation of the famous fairy tale The Princess And The Pea. The Princess And The Mouse has not been published and is not available for production.
Private Fears In Public Places
Private Fears In Public Places has four stories, interwoven over 54 scenes. To facilitate the synopsis, each story is laid out separately. The action takes place in various flats, an office, a sitting room, a kitchen, a cafe and a hotel bar.
Relative Values
A one act comedy about a recently bereaved American aunt visiting her family in the UK, who re-evaluate their relationships and lives as a result of her blunt and abrasive behaviour.
Relatively Speaking
Ginny’s bed-sit in London in the ‘60s: Greg is in bed when the phone rings, but the caller hangs up. Greg met Ginny only a month ago but wants to marry her; Ginny won’t accept until she has persuaded her former married lover to stop harassing her with chocolates and flowers – and to secure some compromising letters. Greg meanwhile is intrigued by a pair of slippers in the bedroom that aren’t his. Sidestepping questions about the slippers, Ginny proposes to see her parents, who are apparently unaware of Greg’s existence. She leaves and Greg finds a note of the address and decides to follow and surprise her. He packs the slippers in his bag.Unfortunately, Ginny is not going to see her parents, but her former lover.Greg arrives at Philip and Sheila’s house, The Willows, in Lower Pendon, in advance of Ginny. He meets the couple, whom he assumes are Ginny’s parents, and all have a conversation at odds with each other, leaving each other none the wiser who everyone else is. Ginny arrives and meets a bewildered Sheila, who has no idea who the newcomer is either.
Revengers' Comedies, The
The piece starts with a brief prologue on Albert Bridge, SW3 at midnight. Two strangers meet there. Henry, a 42 year old executive, divorced and recently made redundant, and Karen, 25 rich, beautiful, upper class and decidedly eccentric. Both are apparently trying to jump off the bridge and end it all. (Karen has been crossed in love). As a result of their meeting, they drive to Karen's huge mid Victorian country home in Dorset where they strike a bargain whereby each agrees to exact revenge on behalf of the other. Henry sort of gets talked into it but never really pursues the idea with much enthusiasm, at least not initially. He quite enjoys living the life of a country squire in Karen's home with just her equally dotty 21 year old brother Oliver for company and two very eccentric female servants. Complications ensue when Henry falls in love with the object of Karen's revenge, the lovely farmer's wife Imogen Staxton-Billing. Instead of plotting her downfall, Henry starts an affair that is conducted wherever the couple can meet - mostly in cowsheds and piggeries. Despite the presence of Imogen's boorish husband Anthony, things for Henry are pretty idyllic.
In a Docklands apartment, Justin and Julie-Ann are preparing a dinner, while a storm rages outside. They have invited Justin’s mother Arabella and her current foreign lothario to meet Julie-Ann’s parents, Derek and Dee, for the first time. Justin and Julie-Ann are intent on getting married although there are already a few cracks in the relationship, not least Julie-Ann’s humour bypass. Justin is also discovering how tightly strung his fiancée is when a fork is lost and she makes the ‘suggestion’ the pair abstain from sex until after the marriage. To make matters worse, Justin is receiving calls from his increasingly drunk and incoherent mother. Julie-Ann leaves to search for a new fork and Justin is left alone. Until a girl falls onto his balcony. Justin pulls in the dishevelled and bruised blonde and discovers she is Paige Petite, trying to escape her boyfriend Rudy’s bodyguard and has dropped in from the flat above. Despite knowing the potential for disaster, he promises to help her and dresses her in Julie-Ann’s best dress. By the time, Julie-Ann returns, Justin and Paige have been joined by the bodyguard Micky, who is obviously torn between his loyalties to his boss and Paige’s blackmail tactics. Julie-Ann is horrified that Paige is wearing her best dress and that the pair won’t leave. With the help of Micky’s pistol, Julie-Ann is instructed to find a new dress from the flat upstairs.
Round And Round The Garden
Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden show us three dovetailed accounts of events at a country house over one weekend; one shows us what happens in the dining-room, the next in the sitting-room and the third in the garden. The house belongs to an unseen but tyrannical invalid woman whose unattached daughter, Annie, cares for her. On the Saturday evening when the plays start, Annie's brother Reg and his wife Sarah have just arrived to take over nursing duties so that Annie can go away for the weekend. Reg, one of a number of Ayckbourn men who can never quite remember the names of his own children, probably hasn't thought about it at all, but Sarah assumes this has been arranged with Tom, the local vet, who has been hanging around Annie as fixedly as her old jumper but failing actually to court her.
Season's Greetings
It is Christmas at Belinda and Neville’s house and they have invited their family for a traditional Christmas celebration. The guests include: Neville’s exhausted sister Phyllis; her husband Bernard, a doctor whose annual puppet shows are the stuff of legend and terror to both young and old alike; Neville’s friend Eddie and his pregnant wife Pattie; uncle Harvey, a slightly senile retired security guard and a television-addict; Belinda’s unmarried sister, Rachel; Clive, a writer and friend of Rachel. Clive arrives late by train, is missed by Rachel, and is instead welcomed by Belinda, who is immediately attracted to him. Harvey, as a result of a misunderstanding, takes an immediate dislike to Clive, believing him to be a homosexual and prospective thief. Clive falls for the frustrated Belinda after Rachel tells him she is looking for no more than friendship. He and Belinda attempt to fulfil their passions beneath the Christmas tree, but are discovered when they set off the various electronic toys and lights beneath the tree in, initially, their lust and then their desperate attempts to turn everything off. On Boxing Day, Clive arranges to leave as soon as he can. Meanwhile, rehearsals are taking place for Bernard’s puppet show The Three Little Pigs, all his efforts being undermined by Harvey. Bernard eventually snaps and tirades against Harvey. Very early the following morning, Clive, in the process of leaving, is intercepted by Harvey who believes he is a thief taking all the presents. Harvey promptly shoots Clive, who is pronounced dead by the ineffectual Bernard. The ‘corpse’ promptly lets out a moan and calls for Belinda, rather than Rachel. He is taken to hospital and Belinda and Neville are left together, Neville choosing to ignore all that has happened.
Second Helping
Second Helping offers ten different views of Love in its many forms. In Friday the Thirteenth, a bank clerk falls instantly in love with April, a new customer; a kind of one-act song. Casual Conversation - the real truth behind the lines in a normal 'chat-up'. Passion - a glimpse of a more physical kind of love coming from a nurse to her patient. Jubilee Road - Selina is at an awkward age, and don't her parents know it: she feels unloved, unwanted, and there's nothing she can do about it, except fantasize. Collaboration is the key to a healthy marriage; here the husband tells us all about it. Fancy Meeting You - two ex-lovers meet by accident, apparently, and briefly re-live their memories and the events that have happened since their split-up. A Boy's Best Friend - is his mother. Showbiz Blues - the story of a night-club pianist whose dream-lady, a singer called Anita, came and went. Unlove Song - man and wife desperate to separate, but not before they let us in on the faults of their other half. Love Song - is just that.
Service Not Included
"I only wrote one play for television, Service Not Included. And I wrote that as a personal favour for a director I knew. It was a half-hour play - one of a series based around a fancy dress party.” - Alan Ayckbourn
Seven Deadly Virtues, The
Sisterly Feelings
The play is comprised of four scenes, the first and last of which are the same. There are two different versions of the middle two scenes, the first choice of scene is decided by the flip of a coin at the end of the first scene. The second alternate scene is decided by the actors themselves during the performance. Following the funeral of his wife, Ralph brings his family to a favourite spot on Pendon Common. With him are his two daughters, Abigail and Dorcas — trailing businessman husband Patrick and radical poet boyfriend Stafford respectively; his student son, Melvyn - with his fiancée Brenda and her brother Simon, and his brother-in-law, Detective Inspector Len, with his wife Rita. Both Abigail and Dorcas are attracted to the bronzed and athletic Simon. When Patrick has to leave prematurely to attend a business meeting, the rest are left with insufficient cars to get them all home. Either Abigail or Dorcas will have to walk home with Simon. They toss a coin and the loser goes home by car. Scene 2 is a picnic four months later. Responsible for the arrangements of the picnic is whichever daughter lost the toss in Scene 1. The other daughter arrives at the picnic by bicycle, accompanied by Simon, and the proceedings are disturbed by the unexpected presence at the picnic of the husband/boyfriend whom Simon is currently displacing. The picnic is curtailed by a rainstorm, at which point the daughter accompanying Simon has to decide whether to remain with him - and face a soaking bike ride -or to return to her original partner. On her decision rests the choice of a third scene: either a proposed romantic night under canvas with Simon and Abigail, or the annual cross-country derby, in which Simon challenges the police champion. Meanwhile, Melvyn has failed his exams to become a doctor and has made Brenda pregnant. By the beginning of Scene 4, depending on which version of the work has been played, Simon has enjoyed the favours of either Abigail or Dorcas, or of both in either order. Scene 4 follows Melvyn's wedding to Brenda, as the family again gathers on the common to humour Ralph, who came here with his bride on his wedding day. Abigail and Dorcas are back with the partners they started with in Scene 1, aware, perhaps of the arbitrariness of the decisions they have taken to change the course of their lives. Simon is an embarrassed best man.
Small Family Business, A
Jack McCraken arrives home to discover a surprise party, thrown by his wife Poppy, to celebrate him taking over the running of the family furniture business, Ayres and Graces, founded by his father-in-law, Ken. Jack makes an inspirational speech about the need for total honesty and incorruptibility in the business.The party is disturbed when Benedict Hough, a private detective, arrives to announce he has caught Jack’s daughter Samantha shoplifting (to the value of £1.87). Hough threatens prosecution unless he gets a job with the family firm. Jack shows him the door. Scorned by his wife and other daughter Tina, for not standing up for Samantha, the women admit they have both committed minor indiscretions in the past.The next day, Ken confides to Jack that the firm’s furniture is being copied by an Italian firm and believes there to be a spy in their firm. Jack contacts Hough and hires him; Hough drops the prosecution threat against Samantha and Jack becomes tainted by the very thing he despises. Hough discovers a firm called Rivetti is receiving the information. Jack realises the Rivettis are a contact of his brother, Cliff and goes to confront him. Unaware he is out, Jack discovers Cliff’s wife is having an affair with – it appears – most of the Rivetti brothers.Cliff admits to buying their own furniture at cost and selling it on to the Rivettis. A family meeting reveals practically everyone knows about the deal and benefits from it in some way. It transpires Ken’s son Desmond is the true villain, investing money in a restaurant in Minorca in a bid to leave his wife, Harriet.
Șarpele în iarbă (Snake In The Grass)
The next day, the sisters argue about the money and Annabel reveals she has no capital, has had a heart-attack and has been abused by her ex-husband. Both recall how their father tormented their childhood and how Annabel was brutally bullied in her tennis training. Alice turns up and accepts Miriam’s offer of a glass of wine. She dismisses an offer of £5,000 before collapsing from the poisoned wine. Her body is dumped down a well and Miriam says they will have to recover the blackmail letter. Alone, Annabel screams as a ball slams into the tennis court netting. In the empty garden, scratching can be heard from the covered well. Annabel shows increasing signs of physical stress on her heart.
Sparrow, The
Annabel returns to her family home following the death of her father to meet her sister, Miriam. Walking in the unkempt grounds – complete with dilapidated tennis-court and summer-house – she meets Alice, her father’s former nurse. She confronts Annabel, claiming Miriam sacked her in order to kill their father and has a letter to prove it. She demands £100,000 compensation, aware that Annabel is the beneficiary of the family fortune. Alice leaves and Annabel hears something in the tennis court, before Miranda turns up, who admits she was responsible for the death of her father. An unassuming bus conductor, Ed, arrives at his London flat with Evie, both drenched by a storm, having met at a dance hall. Due to the storm, Ed convinces Evie to reluctantly spend the night in his bed, while he sleeps in the lounge. However, Ed’s cold and calculating flatmate, Tony, has other ideas and Evie is forced to sleep in the bath. The next day, Tony - an appararently aspirational and entrepnurial business man - persuades Evie through aggression and flattery to become the secretary for his dubious business. When Tony’s former wife, Julia, visits, she is highly sceptical of the relationship and Ed becomes increasingly unhappy as Evie’s professional work gets in the way of their own relationship. It soon becomes clear Tony has no business of his own and is using Evie to get back at Ed and Julia, who had a one-night stand following one of Julia’s many arguments with Tony. Matters come to a head when Tony returns one evening, obviously back together with Julia. However, the couple have a huge row in the kitchen and Ed and Evie escape the flat, no longer Tony’s pawns, vowing never to get married.
Square Cat, The
House-wife Alice Glover is obsessed by the rock-star Jerry Wattis and arranges an innocent, if secret, rendezvous with him at a country house owned by friends. Unexpectedly, her husband Sidney and son Steve are waiting at the house having discovered her letters to Jerry and the planned illicit rendezvous.Having all agreed to stay at the house, Jerry arrives while Alice is changing. But all is not as it appears, Jerry is just the extravagent alter-ego of shy, bespectacled Arthur Brummage, here hoping for a quiet weekend. Sidney is highly amused by this and, following a tense confrontation, Arthur leaves the room. Alice returns and Sidney mocks his wife about her rock-star crush, expecting Arthur to return. Instead the rock-star Jerry appears and Alice faints.Arthur, it turns out, is tired of his rock star alter-ego and yearns for a quiet life. He falls in love with Alice’s daughter Susan, but finds himself switching between the characters of Arthur and Jerry so as not to upset Alice.With Alice unaware that Arthur and Jerry are the same person, an uproarious party is held. Jerry purposely upsets Alice and Sidney chases Jerry out of the house with a battle-axe. Alice and Sidney are reconciled and the evening ends when Susan introduces her fiancé, Arthur Brummage. Alice, of course, is none-the-wiser.
Standing Room Only
The year is 2010 and the entire country has become gridlocked by traffic as a result of Saturation Saturday when the country officially reached over-population. Since then, the Government has introduced increasingly draconian measures to cope with this and the population crisis, whilst perpetually building ever high sky towers which dominate the London skyline. On Shaftesbury Avenue, Pa and his two daughters, Neeta and Cora, live in the double-decker bus he was working in when the traffic stopped. Neeta brings home Nemo, who apparently works for the Ministries and is looking for a place to stay. Pa is initially suspicious of Nemo, who pretends to be a Bus Inspector in order to persuade Pa let him live on the bus. Cora is delighted by this as she already has her eye on Nemo. Neeta, who has been frequently sick recently, reveals to Cora that she and he husband John - who works in the Housing Ministry - are planning on having a baby once they've been approved for a flat. In order to do this though, she will have to take a maternity exam as the Government has long since made it illegal to have babies without official permission.
Story So Far, The
Polly, Jenny and Deidre come down to their parents' home for the weekend to help them celebrate their anniversary. Polly and Jenny have their husbands in tow and Deirdre her current man. Looming over the weekend is a persistent rumour that, despite all appearances to the contrary, something is going seriously wrong between Mum and Dad - indeed, that he is trying to do away with her - and right to the end there are little pieces of circumstantial evidence that may be interpreted as hinting at the truth of the rumour. The scenes of the play cover the arrival of the girls and their men: preparing to leave for the celebration dinner; returning from the dinner, and the following morning. By a theatrical conceit (for it is not intended naturalistically as a wife-swapping exercise), the author has each girl paired with a different man in each of the first three scenes, and in the final scene all nine permutations are intermingled, which makes for a hectic denouement. It is difficult to resist Ayckbourn's own assessment of the play when he says, "It is probably not vintage, but it's got a few good laughs in it, the premise of the play being that, depending upon whom you marry, you become slightly different. And it's quite fun to watch.
Suburban Strains
The story of Caroline, a schoolteacher at a girls' public school who, at the age of 32, remains single and dedicated to her work until she meets Kevin, an actor three or four years her junior, at a dinner party given by Caroline's old school friend Jilly, now a freelance film director specialising in mainly industrial films. After a swift romance, Caroline and Kevin are married and settled in her flat. Kevin is an actor of the mainly unemployed variety. Caroline finds several reasons to be jealous of Kevin's attraction to other women, all of them innocent enough, and it becomes apparent quite quickly that their lifestyles are going to prove very different. Kevin, casual and amiable; Caroline possessively jealous of her little nest, her flat increasingly irritated by the working role and responsibility she has to accept within the relationship. An added complication is the crush Caroline suddenly finds herself the object of, from Linda, a pupil she has been coaching at home in the evening. Later Kevin beds Linda in the flat while Caroline is out and this leads to the break-up of the marriage. Kevin goes and Caroline, alone, disintegrates. It is at this point, the musical actually starts. All the preceding part of the story is told in flashback form, cutting to and fro with the present time flow which proceeds as follows. Caroline is eventually rescued from her depression by capable friend Jilly and domesticated husband Ivor, who insist she comes round to their house for dinner. This Caroline does, after a brief and abortive trip to visit her father.
Sugar Daddies
Sasha, a young student, helps Father Christmas into her flat. Santa, actually an elderly man named Val, has apparently almost been deliberately run over. The two are properly introduced: Sasha having recently arrived from the country to study with hopes to run a restaurant; Val is a retired policeman. Sasha’s fraught sister Chloe returns, upset by being stood up by text by her boyfriend, Zak, and can’t believe Sasha has invited a stranger in. Val leaves and a bunch of flowers arrives, not as Chloe thinks for her, but for Sasha from Val. Sasha begins to spend more time with Val, who spoils and begins to change her both outwardly and inwardly. Sasha returns one evening to find Chloe drunk – stood up again – and calls on Ashley, a mysterious one-eyed neighbour to help her get Chloe to bed. Ashley, who presumes the girls are prostitutes, tells Sasha he was a policeman and warns her to be wary of Val – who it is becoming increasingly obvious is not at all who he appears to be.
Table Manners
Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden - to give them the titles by which they are now known - show us three dovetailed accounts of events at a country house over one weekend; one shows us what happens in the dining-room, the next in the sitting-room and the third in the garden. The house belongs to an unseen but tyrannical invalid woman whose unattached daughter, Annie, cares for her. On the Saturday evening when the plays start, Annie's brother Reg and his wife Sarah have just arrived to take over nursing duties so that Annie can go away for the weekend. Reg, one of a number of Ayckbourn men who can never quite remember the names of his own children, probably hasn't thought about it at all, but Sarah assumes this has been arranged with Tom, the local vet, who has been hanging around Annie as fixedly as her old jumper but failing actually to court her.
Taking Steps
The play is set on a three floor building, with the attic, master bedroom and living room superimposed on one another. At The Pines, a reputedly haunted house and former brothel, Elizabeth is planning on leaving her husband Roland. She has called on her brother, Mark, to comfort Roland when he finds her farewell note. However Mark, a man whose monotone sends people to sleep, is preoccupied with the fact his fiancée, who jilted him at the altar, has been picked up by the police, apparently for soliciting. He leaves The Pines to pick Kitty up. Roland is hoping to buy The Pines from a local builder, Bainbridge, and Tristram, a none-too-bright and extremely nervous solicitor, arrives to complete the sale. Roland, a man who has made his fortunes in buckets and is not averse to a spot of social drinking, arrives home drunk. He meets Tristram and, joined by Bainbridge, they tour the house. Mark returns with Kitty and seeing Elizabeth’s note is still unread, presumes Roland hasn’t arrived back home. Kitty, neurotic and painfully shy, is left to sleep in the spare room in the attic, while Mark takes Elizabeth to the railway station.
Talk in the Park, A
A short play in which five people sat on park benches deliver monologues regarding their lives.
Ten Magic Bridges
The narrator, Princess Elysia, tells the story of how, as a very small child, she once disobeyed her parents and wandered away the safety of the Castle where she lived happily. She became lost and needs our help to find her way home. There are ten Magic Bridges which she needs to cross to reach the Castle. Each week, guided by the children, she arrives at a different Magic Bridge where she meets a different creature (puppets) who demands she and the children solve a series of riddles or puzzles before allowing her to cross. The Princess is not very good at this and needs all the help she can get. In addition, because the Bridges are magic, the narrator can unexpectedly be 'changed' whenever she crosses them. This happens several times - but by the tenth and final Magic Bridge the original Princess will be restored to her normal self. On her lap throughout sits Clever Cat (glove puppet) who sleeps most of the time but can be woken up by the audience and can solve, by whispering in the princess' ear, the secret solution to a problem. Also for one episode it changes into a dog. There is also a talking bird who flies in occasionally and helps in a sort of way. This appears each week and serves chiefly to assist in the story-so-far section. For one Bridge, the Bird's family - wife and 5 children - appear in a tree.
Ten Times Table
The Party Game
A one act play set around the events of a social party. Discovered in a Scarborough loft in 2007, it is known to have been written for amateur performance but declined by the one Scarborough company it was submitted to. The play is notable for its portrayal of fractured and dysfunctional relationships; a foretaste of much that is to come from the playwright.
The Season
This is a one act play with four scenes for two actors. It is a love story which moves forward each scene from medieval times to a post-apocalyptic landscape.
Things We Do for Love
Barbara lives comfortably on her own in a flat, working as a secretary for Marcus, who she obviously has a soft spot for. Gilbert – a widower from the flat below – is fixing the radiator as Barbara explains she is renting the upstairs flat to an old school-friend Nikki, recently engaged to Hamish, and waiting to move into a new house. Barbara is proudly single and perceives Nikki as a victim. When the couple arrive, Barbara and Hamish are singularly unimpressed by each other. Hamish sneakily invites Gilbert to join a dinner party. Gilbert, who adores Barbara and takes her cast-offs to charity shops is over-whelmed. He leaves excitedly to paint the ceiling of his flat.By the time the party comes, Barbara and Hamish’s relationship has apparently deteriorated – although it seems a bit too attentive for people who so despise each other. Barbara is distressed and when Gilbert turns up late and drunk, Barbara sends him back home and he promptly falls down the stairs. Nikki and Hamish help him back into his flat and discover he’s actually painting a nude of Barbara on his ceiling and has kept all her old clothes.
This Is Where We Came In
A sign proclaims “Stories Told Here Today” and a young man, Fred, waits by it. Soon the Players arrive: Nell, Bethany, Talitha, Jenkin, Albert and the magical Kevin On Keyboards. Fred seems strangely familiar – is he someone from the Players’ past or even their future? The Players are not certain of anything as their lives are controlled by three eccentric, ancient Storytellers: Great Aunt Repetitus, Uncle Erraticus and Uncle Oblivious. These tyrannical narrators control the Players by making them re-enact twisted versions of fairy-tales. Uncle Erraticus tells a somewhat inaccurate version of Hansel And Gretel, while Uncle Oblivious – constantly at a loss for words – then tells the story of The Frog Prince. During the story, the forgetful Storyteller lets slip that Fred is not really all he seems. He is the legendary figure Flavius, who the Players believe saved them from their lives of servitude once before. In an attempt to quash the Players’ hopes and to destroy Flavius, Great Aunt Repetitus creates an original story that the Storytellers hope will consign Flavius to history permanently. She tells the story of The Enchanted Farmer’s Son, but Flavius’s ingenuity and the courage of the Players helps him survive the ordeal of the story. Having broken the cycle, Flavius gains control of the stories and decides the fate of the Storytellers himself. With the power of the Storytellers broken, the Players are free to live happily ever after.
Time And Time Again
Returning from a family funeral, Graham and Anna Baker, together with Anna's brother Leonard, are joined for tea by Peter, an employee of Graham's, with his delicious fiancée, Joan - at whom Graham makes a lecherous lunge. This pass is observed by Leonard, the family maverick, as he sits outside in the garden, where he normally repairs to quote poetry and discuss life with the garden gnome, and to reflect upon the rituals of football and cricket which are enacted on the recreation grounds, just beyond the garden. Peter, a sports fanatic, inveigles the reluctant and frankly useless Leonard into these rituals, while Leonard concentrates rather on wooing Joan, at which he is manifestly more adept. By the onset of the football season, Joan is all set to marry Leonard, but has quite neglected to inform Peter, the lady's hopeless fiancé, that he has been supplanted in her affections. Recalling Graham's earlier advances towards Joan, however, Peter misreads the situation and launches into a violent attack upon Graham. Leonard witnesses this, but is little motivated to intervene as Graham has dismissed him from the family home. Joan decides that Leonard's conduct has little to do with love for her, and walks out, leaving Peter and Leonard to console each other after the match at having 'mislaid the trophy', but also agreeing that 'there's more to life than winning trophies.'
Time Of My Life
Laura Stratton is celebrating her 59th birthday in a restaurant with her husband Gerry, her son Glyn and his wife Stephanie and her other son Adam and his girlfriend, Maureen, who it is obvious Laura is not keen on. Glyn, meanwhile, has just come out of an affair and he and Stephanie are trying to restart their marriage. As the sons depart, Stephanie tells Adam that Maureen loves him, while Laura indicates Maureen is an alcoholic. Laura and Gerry are left arguing about family, business and life in general. Laura and Gerry’s story continues over the next two hours in the restaurant, largely alternating between arguments and silence. After the revelation of a very brief affair between Laura and a waiter, they reminisce over their many years together and it turns out the couple have not slept together for more than a decade, that she doesn’t love Gerry and she intends to do everything to stop Adam marrying Maureen. They prepare to drive home despite Gerry being drunk. Glyn and Stephanie’s story moves forward through two years as we discover Gerry was killed in a car-crash leaving the party. Glyn is struggling to cope with his Dad’s business, but is more concerned about his marriage. Stephanie is pregnant and is afraid Glyn is straying again. Maureen and Adam eventually separate and Stephanie has her baby. Over dinner, Glyn announces he is leaving Stephanie for another woman, leaving Stephanie alone with the ruins of her marriage as the dessert menu is read to her. Two years on from the party, Stephanie has revitalised her life and a now single Glyn has lost all. She wants a divorce and reveals that Adam split with Maureen as Laura blamed Gerry’s death on Maureen. Adam’s life has similarly gone off the tracks and he is now a waiter, the brothers commiserate and Glyn reflects you never recognise the moments when you are happy. Adam and Maureen’s story travels backward over two months showing the development of their relationship and how they fell in love; it is revealed they became engaged prior to the birthday party and they first met with her believing she was on a blind date and him believing he was interviewing her for a job. Their discovery of their love is juxtaposed with the future disintegration of their relationship.
Tons Of Money
Trip To Scarborough, A
The play deals, lightly but pointedly, with many serious questions: Can authors, especially media tarts, exert intellectual power without responsibility? Does true love alter when it alteration finds?
Virtual Reality
One by one, four scenes are highlighted on stage. Alex alone at a restaurant; Cassie auditioning; a gardener working; Penny recording a TV segment. At the restaurant for his birthday dinner, Alex is joined by his business partner, Barney, and literary-agent wife, Beth. Alex’s wife Penny also turns up late talking on her hand-free phone. Beth, rather the worst for alcoholic wear, tells Alex how important he is to Beth and his son, Daniel. In contemplative mood, Alex talks to Penny about identity, unaware she is actually on her phone. Everyone but Alex leaves and he is alone until Cassie, a poor actress and waitress, asks about him and actually listens to him. It transpires Alex has invented Viewdows – large screens which generate pleasant images to offer a view where there is none. Alex gives Cassie a lift home and she invites him in for coffee, but he later falls asleep while she rehearses for another audition. The next morning, Alex tries to tell Penny what happened, but she has her personal stereo on. Alex rings Cassie to apologise and invites her to visit his showroom. Cassie agrees and Alex and Barney show off the new McGregor version of the Viewdow, which shows a gardener going about his daily tasks in a virtual garden – although Barney is disturbed by rumours the McGregors have been malfunctioning. Alex and Cassie go for lunch and then to her flat and to bed. Barney confides in Beth as to whether there is anything wrong with Alex and Penny’s marriage. Cassie is ill from half-a-bottle of wine and falls asleep while Alex ponders on the meaningless nature of his life. When he next sees Cassie, he tells her he is considering having an affair. She seems non-commital, but says things will change if he does.
Way Upstream
Keith and his business partner, Alistair, have decided to take their wives, June and Emma, on a cabin-cruiser holiday up the River Orb to Armageddon Bridge. Keith and June’s relationship is shown to be flawed from the outset whilst Alistair and Emma are in a rut, his self-respect diminished and as a consequence hers too; but it is obvious they still have affection and feelings for each other. The boat sets off from Hadforth Lock, although Keith has neglected to inform Alistair that he has arranged for his secretary, Mrs Hatfield, to meet him each day to update him on the business – particularly, though, with regard to looming union problems. Alistair, although believed to be the best man to deal with these problems, is non-committal and Keith decides to return and confront the problems himself. Alistair, left in charge of the boat, promptly grounds it. Fortunately, the passing Vince offers help and is soon piloting the boat to the next lock. June, besotted with Vince, invites him for a drink and he begins to take control of the boat with incredible efficiency. Everyone is soon subjugated to his will, either willingly like June or unwillingly like Alistair and Emma. Keith returns. He is unhappy with Vince being aboard but with an all-out strike at the factory looking likely, he leaves again. Vince, meanwhile, reappears with a friend, Fleur, in tow having brought drinks for a party. Keith returns during the party and demands the newcomers leave. Democratically deposed as Captain by Vince, he again departs. Vince subsequently maroons Alistair on an island before indulging in an orgiastic evening with June.
We Who Are About To . . .
Westwoods, The
The Westwoods was presented as two lunchtime productions in the studio theatre at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, in 1984. The plays (His Side and Her Side) were inspired by television soap operas and gently mock the conventions and situations thrown up by such television programmes. It does appear to differ from the original idea which was much more television inspired and was advertised as three 'episodes' in the summer 1984 brochure (each being a separate show). There is music in the piece, but it is all drawn from extracts from songs of the decade being portrayed. The structure of these two plays, each offering a differing interpretation of life’s events, also appears to have been altered between the brochure’s release and the eventual productions. The play did go on to London and was produced by Etcetera Theatre at the Oxford Arms, Camden - one of London's smallest fringe theatres - in 1987. The play ran simultaneously with A Small Family Business at the National Theatre and Woman In Mind at the Vaudeville Theatre, leading to a suggestion Alan was the first playwright to have plays running at he National, in the West End and on the London fringe at the same time.
In her Uncle’s house, young Emily is being tormented by her cousin Clara. Emily goes to her Uncle Martin to talk about Clara and finds him putting the finishing touches to his latest invention, a time machine. After a successful experiment, Emily is sent to bed but returns later to hear Martin arguing about the machine with her evil Uncle Lucas. Lucas wants to use the machine to make himself rich, which Martin will never allow and threatens to tell Lucas’s family. In a rage, Lucas stabs Martin and discovers Emily. He tries to kill her too, but she escapes into the future in the time machine. She arrives in 1940 during a German bombing raid. She meets the cowardly but good natured Oscar, but is then kidnapped and taken to a stately home where an opulent party is taking place. A much aged Lucas and Clara are waiting for her, made prosperous by dealing with the Germans – now set to win the war. Oscar rescues Emily and sceptically finds himself travelling on with her to the future. They arrive in 2010 and after being decontaminated by robots, discover one of the last surviving humans, Char Tee (Clara’s great, great grandchild. Lucas machinations in the past have led to a huge war which has virtually wiped out humanity). Emily, Oscar and a malfunctioning droid call Ziggi grimly move on to the end of time. There they meet the final human being - a large furry beast called Hoombean – and the Timekeeper. She explains the big bang theory and how when the universe contracts, it will enable the party to travel back in time and put things right.
Wildest Dreams
In a darkened suburban sitting room, four people are playing a role-playing game: Stanley Inchbridge, an elderly ineffectual teacher is ageing wise wizard Alric; his wife Hazel Inchbridge plays Idonia, a child-like character with the ability to speak in tongues; Warren Wrigley, a pupil of Stanley’s, plays half man / half beast Xenon; Rick, a former student of Stanley’s (originally named Alice), is the silent warrior Herwin. The game over, the players are interrupted by Hazel’s bullying brother Austen, who delights in tormenting Stanley. After the players leave, Hazel expresses her fears to Stanley of sexual inadequacy and regrets not having children. At Rick’s cluttered basement flat, Marcie – a co-worker – asks for help from her violent husband, Larry, who Rick says she can handle. Rick brings Marcie to the next games session where we discover Warren sincerely believes himself to be an alien. Marcie ingratiates herself with Warren and finds herself introduced into the game as Novia. Immediately she proves to be a disruptive element in the practised routine of the group. The game ends with the arrival of Austen, while Marcie stays behind to chat to Stanley. Larry, meanwhile, still searching for Marcie has broken into Rick’s flat.
Wolf At The Door
Wolf At The Door is an adaptation of Les Corbeaux (The Crows) by the French playwright Henry Becques. He is a highly regarded writer of realist drama, a friend and contemporary of Ibsen and Strindberg and is regarded as an important figure in early modern drama.
Woman In Mind
Susan is a housewife who, in reality, is neglected by her husband, patronised by her sister-in-law, and estranged from her son. In her own imaginary world, by contrast, she is happy, successful, and loved by her perfect family. Susan remains on-stage throughout the play, and everything seen and heard on stage is what is seen and heard by Susan, both real and imagined.
Word From Our Sponser
In the near future in a disused railway station, the local vicar Harry has a vision of uniting the community with a nativity play. He and Gussie, a former teacher and carer for the elderly Janice, manage to persuade a local ‘businessman’ Earl to donate £5,000, The composer Francis and his wife Nonie are dubious about taking money from a man known to deal in drugs and who has already confronted them about their daughter Rache, who is perpetually listening to the equivalent of an implanted Ipod. The ethics become irrelevant when Earl’s club is burnt down and the money withdrawn. Harry makes a somewhat embarrassed plea to God for sponsorship suggestions and help with his love for Gussie. And then a train stops at a station where no train has stopped for years and the attractive woman Valda appears, who offers £50,000 towards the play. Harry later introduces the new sponsor – who is able to change sex on a whim to become the male Valder - to the group. Gussie makes a late appearance and collapses in a fit. She realises the truth that Valda is the devil and cannot believe Harry invited Valda down. They share a romantic moment which is interrupted by Valda who unsuccessfully tries to corrupt Gussie. Gussie and Harry kiss. Despite saying she would not intervene, Valda begins re-writing the script, replaces Gussie with Rache and insists on product placements. Gussie is revealed to be Janice and Francis’s child and when Harry reveals he knew this, she storms off. When it turns out Rache is also adopted, Valda withdraws the sponsorship due to moral irregularities.

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Biografie Alan Ayckbourn 

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Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn s-a nascut la data de 12 aprilie 1939 in , Marea Britanie.

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