Thurs 5th December - Sat 7th December & Tues 9th December - Sat 14th December 1985
Directed by Jo German
Jane and Sydney are holding a party to impress their better-off influential friends - but someone has forgotten the tonic water... A Black comedy, set on three consecutive Christmas Eves, tracing the changing fortunes of three couples. This well-known and popular comedy by Alan Ayckbourn throws new light on the pre-Christmas-drinks situation. WARNING: this play can seriously damage your acceptance of invitations to 'pop round' for Christmas drinks
'Absurd Person Singular' was written in 1972 and is divided into three acts. It documents the changing fortunes of three married couples and each act takes place at a Christmas celebration at one of the couples' homes on successive Christmas Eves. The play premiered in Scarborough in June 1972, and received the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award for its London debut the following year. It has also enjoyed a number of West End revivals.
The couples involved are the lower-class Hopcrofts; their bank manager and his wife (the Brewster-Wrights) and their architect neighbour (Geoffrey Jackson) with a suicidal wife (Eva). Running like a darker thread through the wild comedy of behind-the-scenes disasters at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts and the declines of the others. It is a farcical tragedy in which death and destruction are never far away; a comedy which looks at the darker side of human nature.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
|Jane Hopcroft||Nicola Scadding|
|Sidney Hopcroft||Peter Holding|
|Ronald Brewster-Wright||Pete Woodward|
|Marion Brewster-Wright||Ingrid Corrigan|
|Eva Jackson||Jude Salmon|
|Geoffrey Jackson||Alan Jenkins|
|Dick Potter||Ben Payne|
|Lottie Potter||Robbie Cattermole|
|Stage Manager||Ben Payne|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Colin Hardy|
|Lighting||Richard Stacey |
|Poster Design||Jane Hart|
|Set Construction||David Brown |
|Front of House||John Bohun|
Christmas Eve drinkies can lead to all kinds of domestic disasters and absurdities, as shown in Alan Ayckbourn's 'Absurd Person Singular'. Ayckbourn's comic dissection of Home Counties manners and neuroses has the precision of an electric carving knife and is staged at the Old Town Hall, Havant, by the Bench Theatre until Saturday week. Set in three couple's kitchens on successive Christmas Eves, the show opened in a bare, well-scrubbed interior with excellent performances by Nicola Scadding and Pete Holding as the poisonous up-an-coming Hopcrofts.
In the chaotic, untidy but trendy kitchen of the Jacksons in Act 2, Jude Salmon's silent, suicidal Eva having her pre-divorce trauma was even more poignant and funny against the strained cheer and bustle of the well-meaning neighbours. Pete Woodward and Ingrid Corrigan were spot-on depicting the well-heeled but emotionally empty lives of the Brewster-Wrights whose tasteful kitchen is the setting for a manic finale. The ensemble work extremely well together, though Alan Jenkins isn't comfortable as the architect Geoffrey Jackson. He plays it all right, he just doesn't look the part. Ben Payne's backstage crew get top marks for their fantastic changes to make the same basic kitchen distinctive fro the three separate households. Jo German directs with a fine eye for detail.
The News, 6th December 1985