Absurd Person Singular
by Alan Ayckbourn
Three couples, three kitchens and three successive Christmas Eves reveal how lives and relationships can change over a period of time.
The first Christmas Eve was spent at the home of Sidney Hopcroft (Adrian Millard) and his devoted and house proud wife Jane (Amanda Shaw). They invite wealthy banker Ronald Brewster-Wright (John Wise) and his alcoholic wife Marion (Tania Kosmo), and up and coming architect Geoffrey Jackson (Michael Padgett) and his long suffering depressed wife Eva (Kathy Jackman). We also hear an unseen couple, The Potters, who are the life and soul of the party but drive everyone to take refuge in the kitchen. Through the three different events we see how lives turn around and by the third act we find working class Sidney has moved from underdog to top man.
Sadly the most amusing Act is the middle one where we laughed at poor Eva's many unsuccessful attempts at suicide, but that's Ayckbourn for you, you almost feel guilty at finding it amusing.
This was a strong cast who captured their characters to the full and coped well with their changes in circumstances. I couldn't single any one person out as they all gave excellent performances. The pace was good and lines flowed well but this is an extremely long play and perhaps some parts of it could have been speeded up a little.
The set changed well to depict the different houses and status of the couples and they were furnished with well-chosen props. The lighting and sound effects were extremely well timed with lots of off stage voices needed and weather effects.
In the end the little man comes out the winner and has everyone dancing to his tune.
Pam Booth NODA rep Ilkley 2017