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GCSE: Alan Ayckbourn
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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
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
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
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