By Michael Billington (auth.)
This ebook reviews the performs through Alan Ayckbourn and incorporates a biography, a survey of the performs and unique research of the main major performs, in addition to dialogue, the place suitable, in their political, social, ancient and theatrical context.
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Extra info for Alan Ayckbourn
If he's trying to kill her off, she's no-one to blame but herself. It's just his way of saying thank you for years of utterly miserable marriage. DEIRDRE: Bloody hell. Isn't she marvellous? JENNY: This is absolutely outrageous. I won't listen to this. How can you be so disloyal to mother? POLLY: Or you to father. JENNY: He's virtually a murderer. POLL Y: He's a long-term victim of that stupid bitch in the kitchen. JENNY: By the end of the first scene you know who these people are, the nature of their misalliance, their attitude to their parents, as well as having the feeling of stormclouds gathering ominously over suburbia.
The play's complexities only work because Philip is unfaithful, because Sheila is trying to foster his jealousy and because the communication gap between them is so large that a total stranger can pass through it virtually undetected. Ayckbourn also very subtly uses the vertiginous complexities and comic role-playing to reveal the truth about the marriage of Philip and Sheila. Greg, who still believes he is talking to his fiancee's parents, starts to tell them about Ginny's past affaire with a married man.
In fact he is relying on a long tradition of comic misunderstanding. There is a very strong echo of The Importance of Being Earnest in the way one character, at the end of the first scene, rashly decides to pursue another to the country: just as Algernon scribbles down on his shirt cuff Jack Worthing's address The Manor House, Woolton, Hertfordshire - so Greg here picks up the cigarette packet proclaiming The Willows, Lower Pendon, Bucks. In Wilde this leads to one of the great entrances in all comedy with Jack Worthing arriving in mourning for a brother who has already turned up.