Absurd Person Singular
by Alan Ayckbourn
February 1985
~ Directed by Tony Mason ~

A black comedy by Alan ayckbourn, often considered his most perfect work. The three acts feature three parties, in three kitchens, on three successive Christmas Eves. In each case the action takes place away from the main group of guests; Ayckbourn called Absurd Person Singular his first “offstage action play”.

In the first act the abrasive Sidney and his wife Jane play host to their neighbours Geoffrey and Eva and Ronald and Marion. The action is pure farce, with flyspray mistakenly used as a room freshener, guests locked outside, and numerous personal misunderstandings. At the second party, given by Geoffrey and Eva, Geoffrey tells his wife that he intends to leave her on Boxing Day. She tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide but none of the guests notices. Geoffrey goes for a doctor as the drunken guests sing ‘On the First Day of Christmas’. The last act takes place in Ronald and Marion's kitchen, with Marion drunk and ill in her bedroom. The party ends with frenzied dancing to a Scottish reel.

Eric BrownSidney Hopcroft
Pat LeeJane Hopcroft
Ray NewtonRonald Brewster-Wright
Lelia KershawMarion Brewster-Wright
Mike NewboldGeoffrey Jackson
Maggie NixEva Jackosn
Richard HitchDesigner