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PRODUCTION DETAILS

TITLE: Absurd Person Singular  PLAYWRIGHT: Alan Ayckbourn PERFORMANCE DATES: 19th - 21st November 2015  DIRECTOR: Nicki Clay 

CAST

Sidney Hopcroft Graeme Parker Jane Hopcroft Lisa Valentine Ronald Brewster-Wright David Lane Marion Brewster-Wright Jill Pearson Geoffrey Jackson Nick Leaf Eva Jackson Sophie Griffiths Dick Potter (Voice) Mike Waters Lottie Potter (Voice) Linda Baillie Click HERE for full Cast and Crew details  Click HERE for production programme 

SYNOPSIS

Absurd Person Singular play is set over three Christmases in the kitchens of three  couples: Sidney Hopcroft, an ambitious tradesman, and his submissive wife Jane;  architect and adulterer Geoffrey Jackson and his depressed wife, Eva; Ronald  Brewster-Wright, a banker, and his alcoholic wife Marion. The three couples range from  working to upper class.  ‘Last’ Christmas is set at Sidney’s house, who hopes to persuade the others to invest in  his business - although both Geoffrey and Ronald are obviously dismissive of the man  and dislike him. Throughout the scene, Sidney’s unfeeling treatment of Jane becomes  apparent, as does the way she rises above it. It also becomes obvious that Geoffrey  and Eva’s marriage is on the rocks and that in Ronald, Geoffrey sees the potential for  help with a new commission for a shopping centre. Unseen in the lounge, Dick and  Lottie Potter hold sway with their raucous jokes, forcing the others to seek refuge in the  kitchen. By the end of the act Jane has been locked out of the kitchen in the pouring  rain only able to return when the party, declared a success by Sidney, is over. ‘This’ Christmas is spent at Geoffrey and Eva’s flat. Geoffrey’s fortunes have fallen and  Eva spends most of the act attempting to commit suicide in ever more desperate,  domestic ways. Jane mistakes her attempts to gas herself for cleaning and takes over  scrubbing the oven; the tablets Eva loses down the sink leads Sidney to offer to help  with the plumbing - getting soaked as result; when Eva tries to hang herself, Ronald  thinks she’s trying to change the light-bulb and takes over - electrocuting himself in the  process. In despair, she starts singing a Christmas carol as Geoffrey arrives with a  doctor in tow. Amid the chaos, Marion has been getting increasingly drunk and the  Jackson’s rabidly aggressive and unseen dog, George, has attacked Dick and  effectively trapped them all in the kitchen.  ‘Next’ Christmas is at Ronald and Marion’s house, where Marion tends to lock herself in  her bedroom to be comforted by alcohol, leaving Ronald bewildered and lost in his own  home. The roof of Geoffrey’s shopping centre has collapsed and, ironically, he is now  dependent on Eva. The two couples meet for a Christmas drink but try to hide when  Sidney and Jane turn up uninvited. The couple have come up trumps in the interim and  are now on the rise. Once in the kitchen, it transpires Ronald, who was dismissive of  them in the first act, has to court them to keep their business and Geoffrey desperately  needs them to employ him as an architect to keep his career alive. Having dished out  wildly inappropriate Christmas presents and with the fortunes of all couples now  completely reversed, Sidney finally gets his wish for party games and makes everyone  dance - literally - to his tune.

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR

CHAIR’S PRODUCTION NOTES

Welcome to our latest play offering... ... Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn. I thought it was about time I gave this directing lark a go, after having decided upon the  play about 3 years ago. I'd heard of Absurd Person Singular before but had considered  its title somewhat...odd! I had expected the play itself to be...well...absurd!  After seeing Ayckbourn's latest revival of the play (SJT Scarborough), I soon realised  the play itself wasn't odd, the characters however, were a little absurd! I'd read that  Ayckbourn had shelved another of his plays, which he had called Absurd Person  Singular, yet had loved the title so much that he swapped it for this play! In typical style,  it is simply a story which portrays the worst side of people. Ayckbourn doubts anyone would willingly choose to become friends with the characters  he creates - I agree!  The planning phase began back in June and then the doubts kicked in! This was my  first attempt at directing and I had chosen a play with a very complicated set. I was  going to need three kitchens, a washing machine, oven, fridge, tables, chairs and the  rest! Not only was I concerned about space and storage but how could we obtain all  this furniture and not blow the budget? In the end I decided upon part-minimalist  staging, hoping our audience will use their imagination to fill the spaces.   Directing this play has been a very enjoyable, positive and rewarding experience. I  have had incredible support and commitment from everybody involved. The cast were  even rehearsing without scripts way ahead of schedule. I might have another go at this  directing lark!   I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to our newest  member Mike Waters. And finally...thank you to our audience and sponsors for your continued support and  patronage. It is, as always, greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoy our play.  Nicki Clay

TICKET DESIGN

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PHOTO GALLERY

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