July 04 , 2008



A student edition of five one-act plays by Britain's most popular playwright.

Ayckbourn's series of plays for 4-5 actors typify his black comedies of human behaviour. First produced in 1976, the plays are alternately naturalistic, stylised and farcical, but underlying each is the problem of loneliness. The Mother Figure shows a mother unable to escape from baby talk; in The Drinking Companion an absentee husband attempts seduction without success; in Between Mouthfuls, a waiter oversees a fraught dinner encounter. A garden party gets out of hand in Gosforth's Fete whilst A Talk in the Park is a revue style curtain call piece for the five actors.

Whether the comedies concern marital conflict, infidelity or motherhood and take place on a park bench or at a village fete, the characters are familiar and their cries for help instantly recognisable.

"Principally he is respected as a radical re-inventor of form" Dominic Dromgoole

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