Three Plays: Absurd Person Singular, Absent Friends, Bedroom Farce
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Publish Year note: First published in 1975
'What is remarkable about Alan Ayckbourn's comedy is that it contrives to be simultaneously hilarious and harrowing. Literally, it is agonisingly funny'
In Three Plays Ayckbourn's perfectly pitched dialogue slices into the soul of suburbia. The settings are simple - a kitchen, a bedroom, a party - but the relationships between the husbands and wives are more complicated. Fraught relationships are exposed with humour, bathos and a sharp understanding of human nature.
GEOFFREY enters hurriedly, calling behind him] GEOFFREY: Through here, Doctor. Please hurry, I … [GEOFFREY is suddenly aware of the sound behind him. He turns, still breathless from his run up four flights. His mouth drops further open as he surveys the scene. The singing continues unabated, as the Lights black-out and – the CURTAIN falls ACT THREE The Brewster-Wrights’ kitchen. Next Christmas. They live in a big old Victorian house, and the kitchen, though modernized to some extent, still
that. EVA: Oh, never mind. GEOFFREY: Not to worry. JANE: We could give them the hm-mm. You know, that we got given this evening. SIDNEY: The what? JANE: You know, the hm-mm. That we got in the thing. SIDNEY: What, that? They don’t want that. JANE: No, I meant for hm-mm, you know. Hm-mm. SIDNEY: Well, if you want to. Now, come on. Give Ron and Marion their presents. They’re dying to open them. RONALD: Rather. MARION: Thrilling. JANE: [delving into her carrier and consulting the labels
it. We’re both grown-up people, we know what we’re doing, he knows I know, she knows I know. So mind your own business.” I’d feel all right about it. But I will not stand deception. I’m simply asking that I be told. Either by him or if not by her. Not necessarily now but sometime. You see. [A pause. EVELYN is expressionless] I know he is, you see. He’s not very clever and he’s a very bad liar like most men. If he takes the trouble, like last Saturday, to tell me he’s just going down the road to
Fine. COLIN: Where are the girls then, where are the girls? PAUL: Oh – er – Di’s just out in the kitchen there. COLIN: Doing her stuff? PAUL: Yes, more or less. And – er – Evelyn’s with the baby. COLIN: Hey, yes. You’ve got a baby. JOHN: Right. COLIN: Boy or girl? JOHN: Boy. Wayne. Four months. COLIN: Fantastic. That’s what you always wanted, didn’t you? I always remember that. When the four of us used to get together, you know, you, me, Gordon, Paul – what was it Gordon wanted to be, a
NICK: What the hell are you doing? TREVOR: I remember this one magic day when Jan and I, we went off together… NICK: Look, Trevor, you’ve got your shoes all over the eiderdown. TREVOR: [casually shifting his feet] Sorry. We went to the seaside. It was one of those perfect days… NICK: Look, Trevor – [JAN enters brushing her hair] JAN: Oh, that looks cosy. What are you up to? NICK: Look, Jan, will you tell him to get his feet off my eiderdown? JAN: Trevor! Shoes off, please. NICK: Not just