If you were directing Ayckbourns “Drinking Companions”, what instructions would you give the actors in order to play their parts?
If you were directing Ayckbourns "Drinking Companions", what instructions would you give the actors in order to play their parts? The set, lighting and music for Ayckbourns Drinking Companions should, as stated in the stage directions, be in a hotel bar, so a table with three chairs around it should be placed at centre stage, at which Paula is sat, soon to be joined by Harry and Bernice. The music again stated in Ayckbourns stage directions should be discreet muzak. The lights should not be bright, but light enough for the audience to be able to make out all the characters and their actions easily. When I acted Harry, I tried to come across as if I (Harry) was drunk and looking for love from either Paula or Bernice. Throughout the duration of the play, Harry gets drunker and drunker. I tried to play this by, as the play progressed, gradually getting more and more laid back and flirty. 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
The play I am writing about is called 'Absurd Person Singular.' It is written by Alan Ayckbourn, a modern writer and also a very clever writer in my view. This play is about three couples. In each act (there are three acts) it is set in one of the couples' kitchens on Christmas Eve, and we see how their kitchens reflect on the couples that own the kitchen, this kind of play is called a kitchen sink drama, the idea of which is the base for soaps such as 'Eastenders'. Throughout the play we see how people change and why they change, we also see how the couples react to different situations that happen in the play, Ayckbourn also employs a number of strategies to bring to life characters never seen by the audience and to 'show action' that occurs offstage. It is a modern play, it was written in 1972 and raises, issues such as social climbing and different types of relationships, jobs, mental states and households. In my assignment I will discover all these different issues and plot subjects, clarify them in a lot of detail and write about how the audience reacts to different parts of the play, also I will pick out the unities the play has. 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
NOTES OF 'MOTHER FIGURE' by Alan Ayckbourn From the play'Confustions' LUCY Facts: * Has three children under school age * Her husband is a travelling salesman and works away from home for long periods of time. * In the second play 'Drinking Companions; we meet Harry, trying and failing to talk to Lucy on the phone, staying in a hotel on his travels. In this play he us revealed as a hard drinking, womaniser. * No longer responds to either telephone bells or door bells; she knows the phone is likely to be Harry "Anything he has to say to me, he can say to my face or not at all." * Does not recognise her next door neighbour = little contact with outside world, even that which is close to her. * Cannot remember the last time she actually got dressed. IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER: * She is very hard on Terry and sympathetic to Rosemary because: Rosemary reminds her of herself, in the way her husband treats her Harry expresses opinions about the roles of men and women in a way which we later (in 'Drinking Companions') 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
English coursework Intro: Absurd Person Singular is a play written by Alan Ayckbourn in the 20th century. Absurd Person Singular is a black comedy where the characters have very strong characteristics that the audience can relate to. The play was written in three acts, each act is preformed in three different kitchens over three consecutive years, on Christmas day. I will be taking the role as a director and will be advising you the actor playing the part of Sidney Hopcroft, one of the characters of absurd person singular, on how to play your role. Act 1: Act 1 is played in the kitchen of Sidney and Jane Hopcroft on the first Christmas. Sidney Hopcroft is married to Jane Hopcroft, he is very insensitive towards Jane "Jane: I don't want to let you down. Sidney: You never have yet" I want you to pause shortly and stare into Jane's eyes before saying yet, there should also be a vocal emphasis on the "yet". There was no need for Sidney to say what he did, he could have said something else that would have been nicer towards Jane and not put her under so much pressure. Linking in with the previous point Sidney also controls Jane, "Sidney: you will have to go back in there and explain. Jane: No I couldn't. Sidney: Of course you must. Jane:(On the verge of tears again) I couldn't. Sidney: (furious) you take off all that - and you go back in there and explain." He tries to make her
An Explanation Of How Ayckbourn presents the character of Rosemary in "Mother Figure". In Ayckbourn's play 'Mother Figure', Rosemary is the wife of Terry, an obnoxious sexist male who evidently wears the trousers in their marriage. Rosemary meets Lucy a strong-minded mother who pushes the confident, more outspoken Rosemary forward. The two women come very close in a short amount of time. It soon becomes apparent that there is trouble in the marriage of Terry and Rosemary and adjustments are required for the relationship to continue to survive much longer. Rosemary is portrayed as being a friendly character that is not necessarily nosey but likes to be informed of what others are up to. Although she is "frail, mousey-looking" she is quite chatty and is good at small talk with strangers, especially strangers she wants to know more about. She wins people over with polite but inquisitive questions about people's personal lives for example when questioning Lucy about her children, she asks "It's three you've got, isn't it?" This may be the point at which Lucy is won over. I believe this because this is the point where Lucy begins to respond with fuller answers instead of the usual "yes" and "no". 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
Explore the comedy in one of Alan Ayckbourn's dramas from the collection 'Confusions'. In this essay I shall study and explore the ways in which Alan Ayckbourn generates comedy in one of his dramas called 'Mother Figure'. The term 'comedy' is defined as 'a light amusing drama; amusing incident.' In my opinion it encapsulates something deliberately funny, something that is unusual, light heart hearted or unexpected or sometimes a subtle implication. It can also be a play with a happy outcome, a characteristic of the traditional stage interpretation of the term 'comedy'. Stereotypes are created and used to generate comedy. With Lucy for example, Ayckbourn has given her a concerned motherly character reprimanding Terry and Rosemary in the same manner as she would her own children. This is shown when Lucy discovers that Terry has eaten two biscuits: 'Well that's it. No more after that.' This shows her assumed position of authority in the drama. The comedy comes for the age difference between Lucy and the others, there is almost a role reversal taking place. Ayckbourn also uses confrontation to produce comedy. A clear example of this is the obvious power struggle between Terry and Lucy who both feel they should be in control. Terry wants to go back to the house as he is fed up but Lucy feels that he should apologise before Rosemary allows him to go: 'Rosie, give me the
Contextualising the play Absurd Person SIngular This is an essay about the social, historical and cultural aspects of Alan Ayckbourn's 'Absurd Person Singular'. I have studied the playwright and the time period in which it was written, in order to get an overview of what influenced his ideas. I came across a synopsis when researching to give some indication of Ayckbourn's intentions: o We visit three couples in their kitchens on the Christmas Eves of three successive years. First the 'lower-class' but very much up-and-coming Hopcrofts in the bright new-pin, gadget-filled kitchen - anxiously giving a little party to their bank manager and his wife, and an architect neighbour. Then the architect and his wife in their neglected untidy flat. Lastly, the bank manager and his wife in their large, slightly modernised, old-Victorian style kitchen. (Ayckbourn gives us detailed descriptions of the kitchens which reflect class and the prediction that electronic household items are the way of the future.) Running like a darker thread through the wild comedy of behind-the-scenes disaster at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts to material prosperity and independence - and the decline of the others. In the final stages, the little man is well and truly on top, with the others, literally and unnervingly, dancing to his tune. This synopsis clearly suggests a time
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'
How is the idea of failed relationships expressed in the play confusions? 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' and also she doesn't like to answer the phone almost knowing it will be her husband. Also in Mother Figure one more couple is included, Rose and Terry. Rose and Terry go over to Lucy's house to tell her her husband rang. Lucy immediately rejects her husband, which surprises Rose. 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. No, I thought to myself-there from London I wouldn't mind betting. Up for a visit promoting that what it is you were selling'. This long quote explains that Harry is deeply interested in the girls and as time goes on and more drinks are served
Confusions What are the 'confusions' of the title? How are the characters in the different plays affected by their confusion? Refer if you can to all five plays, but focus more closely on one or two. All five plays in Confusions show us the human dilemma of loneliness beneath its comical appearance. All five plays highlight the basic desire for companionship and the need to be accepted. Many of the characters are misunderstood and oppressed, they also lack the skill of communication in one way or another. At the beginning of Mother Figure, there's already confusion and disorganisation. Although there's only one person, Lucy, on stage, there're a few things making demands for her offstage - the three children and the telephone ringing. Lucy lifts up the receiver and immediately replaces it, thus breaking contact and communication without even thinking about it. She doesn't respond to the demand but the children. Also at the beginning, we can first begin to see Lucy's infancy language towards the children e.g. dinkie, toothipegs, botty. Very soon another demand calls for Lucy, the front door bell chimes. Lucy ignores the demand and is very busy with herself, moving across the stage, back and forth from the bedroom and to the kitchen. She neglects a further two rings on the back door bell. Rosemary comes in and she's very timid and uncertain of herself while
2nd June 2007 Discuss Ayckbourn's presentation of the three wives in 'Absent Friends' 'Absent Friends' is a short play written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1974. This play tells of the relationships between three different couples each displaying their own individual problems that occur within their marriage. The six characters meet at Diana and Paul's house for afternoon tea, waiting for an old friend (Colin) to arrive and with the pressures and combine troubles of the marriages, this leads to a very strained atmosphere in which 'the cream' incident arises. After reading and studying the play, I believe that Marge and Gordon have the most stable marriage although we do not meet Gordon in person, only by several telephone conversations. The reason I think this is because they care for each other however Marge is very overprotective towards her hypochondriac husband Gordon, who seems to lie in bed all day and have various accidents with hot water bottles and cough mixture. Marge also refers to her husband as 'Jumjums' which shows the audience her obsession for care for him, and how she treats him like the child which she never had. Marge's character shows a talkative, confident and overall bubbly person in the respect that she manages very well on her own. The other characters in the play, perceive the relationship between Marge and Gordon as happy and stable as they seem to get