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Absurd Person Singular

Absurd Person Singular
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Alan Ayckbourn
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 106
Pub. Date: 1974
ISBN-10: 0573605610
ISBN-13: 9780573605611
Cast Size: 3 women, 3 men

About the Play:

Absurd Person Singular was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Absurd Person Singular
is a full-length comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. It is divided into three segments and follows the radically shifting fortunes of three unique married couples and the inexorable ascendancy of the socially inferior Hopcrofts over their peers. Each of the acts is set during Christmastime when the entire group gathers in the kitchen of one of the families. Absurd Person Singular is one of Alan Ayckbourn's most acclaimed and popular plays, and frequently features in significant 20th century play lists.

Absurd Person Singular is a scathing comedy of social striving in the suburbs that follows the fortunes of three couples who turn up in each other's kitchens on three successive Christmases, to hilarious and devastating effect. The "lower class" but very much up and coming Hopcrofts are in their bright new, gadget filled kitchen anxiously giving a little party for their bank manager and his wife and an architect neighbour. Next there are the architect and his wife in their neglected, untidy flat. Then the bank manager and his wife are in their large, slightly modernized, old Victorian style kitchen. Running like a dark thread through the wild comedy of behind the scenes disasters at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts to material prosperity and independence and the decline of the others. In the final stages the little man is well and truly on top, with the others, literally and unnervingly, dancing to his tune. Absurd Person Singular is credited as being a defining tragi-comedy.

Absurd Person Singular premiered in 1972 at the Library Theatre in Scarborough, with its London debut at the Criterion Theatre the year after. It then transferred in 1974 to the Vaudeville Theatre and reached a run of 973 performances, including those in Scarborough and London. It premiered on Broadway in 1974 at the Music Box Theatre where it was staged for 18 months, breaking records for the longest running comedy on Broadway by a British playwright. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 women, 3 men

What people say:

"Best comedy Britain has sent us in years." — The New York Times

"A brilliant little comedy of domestic misadventure, ... a model of cunning stagecraft." — The New Yorker

"Walks a zigzag line between comedy and farce and often manages to be staggeringly funny." — Newsweek

About the Playwright:

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, born in London in 1939, is one of the most widely performed living English language playwrights and a highly regarded theatre director. His works, mostly comedies, deal with middle-class manners and conflicts. He is a Tony, Olivier, and Moliere Award winning writer who has written 77 full length plays, more than half of which have gone on to London's West End. His contribution to theatre has been recognized with both a Special Tony Award and the Olivier's Special Award.

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