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GCSE: Alan Ayckbourn

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  1. They are all trapped in their small shuttered worlds Nobody truly communicates with anyone or understands anyone else. Analyse some of the dramatic devices used by Ayckbourn to explore this central social concern in Absu

    This could infer that the other characters are shy and reserved. Dick and Lottie are mentioned in all three acts and in the final act can be seen as responsible people, who are more capable of taking care of Ronald and Marion's children than they, the parents, are themselves. They are a prime example of how a marriage can be happy and successful and are used often to point out faults in other peoples relationships and how the other characters are more singular and individual in their marriages. Ayckbourn also uses Dick's name for sexual innuendo repeatedly; "That would tickle Dick no end," thus showing Sidney's obliviousness to how people view him.

    • Word count: 1913
  2. English- Absurd person singular

    I couldn't. Sidney: (furious) you take off all that - and you go back in there and explain." He tries to make her do what he wants, he could have said it in a different way and not make Jane cry but he is to busy trying to impress his guests. As your saying these lines to Jane I want you to lean over Jane slightly, bang a glass on the table and be at the brink of shouting, whereas Jane will be ducking slightly of terror and speaking quietly back to you. Sidney's social status is along way below his guests Ronald who is a successful bank manager and his wife Marion who is an alcoholic snob.

    • Word count: 2029
  3. Discuss Ayckbourn's presentation of the three wives in 'Absent Friends'

    The other characters in the play, perceive the relationship between Marge and Gordon as happy and stable as they seem to get along well with each other with no arguments within the play. However, Colin who later arrives, and who's fianc� Carol was recently drowned in a swimming accident sees Marge as a permanent nurse to Gordon who he believes to be a useless individual. Diana, who is married to Paul, suspects him of having an affair with John's wife, Evelyn.

    • Word count: 1702
  4. The idea of failed relationships in the first play, Mother Figure, comes across very strongly. Lucy seems to have lost contact with the outer world, 'I didn't get dressed today', and, 'I just wasn't going anywhere'

    Then they start talking and the conversation leads to an argument between Rose and Terry. This reveals that the distance between this couple is large as she complains that he is always out. The play then moves on to 'Drinking companions'. This includes Harry, Lucy's wife. Harry appears in the scene with a young girl called Paula. He starts to come across as desperate, 'Bernice-pretty name. Paula and Bernice-lovely names-and I thought to myself, hallo, they don't belong here. They look right out of place. Two lovely personalities like yours just don't go together with masons.

    • Word count: 673
  5. Alan Ayckbourn's concerns in "Gosforth'sFete" and how he achieves them.

    This method of writing is called parallel structure. The play, which takes place in a marquee, has five characters: Mrs Pearce, the councillor; who is doing a talk at the fete. Milly, who helps organize the fete; Gosforth, who is responsible for the whole fete; the vicar, who helps out, and finally Stewart, a scout, who is Milly's fianc� and is in charge of his boy scouts, the wolf cubs who are meant to present a show at the fete.

    • Word count: 936
  6. An Explanation Of How Ayckbourn presents the character of Rosemary in "Mother Figure".

    As soon as Rosemary gets a good excuse, (information about Harry, the husband), she set outs to investigate the life of her neighbour, Lucy, who is clearly not interested by what this woman has to say and is somewhat preoccupied with her role as a mother as "she goes to listen for the children". When Rosemary enters the house, it seems as if Lucy constantly tries to get rid off Rosemary with one-word answers such as "yes" and "no", but she is determined to tell Lucy the information she has about Harry.

    • Word count: 1542
  7. Explore the comedy in one of Alan Ayckbourn's dramas from the collection 'Confusions'.

    'No, Rosemary. I'll take it. Give it to me.' Lucy's interference in a dispute between a married couple could be construed as quite odd. Terry is created as a typical sexist, control freak who seeks to overpower women with the playwright using mannerisms and dialogue to emphasise this point: 'It's not true. Makes me out to be some bloody idle loafer' By making this statement Terry is just confirming the stereotypical image he is so adamant to deny when disputing with Rosemary.

    • Word count: 1915
  8. Form and structure of Absurd Person Singular

    Everything he does in the play has an intended reason and is for a specific meaning. Form and structure and normally generalized depending on the certain genre however I find Absurd Person Singular individual in its own right. Within the structure of the play, Ayckbourn uses different forms to convey meaning. For instance by having one scene in each act allows the play to flow keeping a fast pace and sustains our attention. The play runs through time in chronological order, last Christmas, this Christmas and next Christmas, and they are each set in each of the couple's homes yet all the acts are set in the kitchens of the couples.

    • Word count: 1597
  9. Contextualising the play Absurd Person Singular

    Aycybourn wanted to shock people by illustrating this change. I then researched Ayckbourn's life to see if this affected his writing of the play: o In Absurd Person Singular we are looking at three different kitchens of three different households. It is Christmas Eve, but every time a year ahead. The couples fail to keep the Christmas spirit, which is not surprising, because I discovered that the English playwright loathes Christmas. Happy Christmas? Not for Ayckbourn. This is a significant reason as to why he purposely sets each scene at Christmas and effectively portrays it in a bad light.

    • Word count: 1455
  10. 'Absurd Person Singular' by Alan Ayckbourn - review.

    In this play Ayckbourn makes it a technical play so it stays to one particular point. A technical play is a play that has a very tight story structure so the writer, in this case Ayckbourn, can stay to the same sort of subjects. Ayckbourn uses lots of dramatic devices throughout his play, he does this so he gets a reaction out of the audience, and some people will react to it in different ways, this is also a good way to get the audience involved and think about what they have done to other people that relate to the dramatic devices Ayckbourn uses.

    • Word count: 1828
  11. How does Ayckbourn present the contrast between Susan's fantasy family and her real family in 'Woman in Mind'. Explore the importance of this contrast to the play's central theme.

    The setting of 'Woman in Mind' is also essential in the presentation of the contrasting families although it is important for the audience to remember that the play is seen from an entirely subjective viewpoint and that although two settings are implied only one is actually the reality. Ayckbourn uses the lighting and sound effects to accenuate the contrast between the two worlds. For example the stage direction at the beginning of the play suggests the setting to be a "(small, tidy, surburban garden)"

    • Word count: 1592
  12. 'Ayckbourn is at his most serious when he is at his funniest'. For my coursework I am to provide information to support this statement, from the two plays 'Drinking Companion' and 'A Talk in the Park', both by Alan Ayckbourn.

    It is these flaws that Ayckbourn has highlighted and they are the main storyline in each of the plays. Basically, Ayckbourn is taking average style characters putting them in a situation where they will behave normally. From the outside people may not always be, as they seem. I have chosen the play 'Drinking Companion' to study for several reasons. One of these is that the main character, Harry, is not unlike many middle aged men. The scene is set in a 3-star hotel bar, and Harry approaches a young lady, Paula, alone in the foyer and buys her drinks continuously at the hotel bar, trying to get her to go up to his hotel room.

    • Word count: 1216
  13. From the play 'Confustions' - notes of 'Mother figure'.

    learn reflects Harry's views too: "I think I quite envy your husband, sometimes. Getting about a bit. . . it's more natural. For a man. His natural way of life. . . Woman stays in the cave, man the hunter goes off roving at will. Mind you, I think the idea originally was he went off hunting for food. Difference sort of game these days, eh? . . Be after something quite different these days eh?" * Lucy's original reaction to Rosemary's appearance in her house is not what one would expect.

    • Word count: 841
  14. If you were directing Ayckbourns “Drinking Companions”, what instructions would you give the actors in order to play their parts?

    When Bernice enters, Harry becomes quite aroused by the sight of another woman and another chance at love. I tried to express this in his line, "Hallo, its your friend isn't it?" I tried to make the character sound excited by emphasising this line, and by standing up to greet Bernice, as Ayckbourn suggested. Her reaction sparks another line, "Now, can I get you a drink, Bernice?" This is a cheap attempt at politeness, to try and but her friendship and attention and he tries to show her his generous and somewhat caring side. This, I simply played as an honest question with perhaps a hint of drunkenness.

    • Word count: 931
  15. What are the ‘confusions’ of the title?

    She neglects a further two rings on the back door bell. Rosemary comes in and she's very timid and uncertain of herself while Lucy's responses are very certain. Rosemary : Hallo, I thought you must be in.... Lucy : Yes. Rosemary : Oh, don't let me - if you want to get on .... Lucy : No. Their conversation was of a random quality, they're not really communicating with each other although they're talking, there is no contact of mind. Lucy gives very straight forward, mostly one word answers. Rosemary : From next door. Mrs Oates. Rosemary. Do you remember?

    • Word count: 2275

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