Social, Historical and Cultural Aspects of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular

Social, Historical and Cultural Aspects of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular

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Social, Historical and Cultural Aspects of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular

This is an essay about the social, historical and cultural aspects of
Alan Ayckbourn's 'Absurd Person Singular'. I have studied the
playwright and the time period in which it was written, in order to
get an overview of what influenced his ideas. I came across a synopsis
when researching to give some indication of Ayckbourn's intentions:

o We visit three couples in their kitchens on the Christmas Eves of
three successive years. First the 'lower-class' but very much
up-and-coming Hopcrofts in the bright new-pin, gadget-filled kitchen -
anxiously giving a little party to their bank manager and his wife,
and an architect neighbour. Then the architect and his wife in their
neglected untidy flat. Lastly, the bank manager and his wife in their
large, slightly modernised, old-Victorian style kitchen. (Ayckbourn
gives us detailed descriptions of the kitchens which reflect class and
the prediction that electronic household items are the way of the
future.)
Running like a darker thread through the wild comedy of
behind-the-scenes disaster 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. This synopsis clearly suggests a time in England when the
class system was on its way out and people from different classes were
beginning to socialise together. Aycybourn wanted to shock people by
illustrating this change.

I then researched Ayckbourn's life to...


... middle of paper ...


... doesn't.

In Absurd Person Singular I feel that Ayckbourn is showing how
misinterpreted a religious festival such as Christmas can be. He
portrays the reality that lies behind closed doors and represents
Christmas as he feels it will be in a decade's time. There is no
longer a religious issue behind Christmas as people are simply
materialistic. He says that he hopes he is presenting real-life
situations, but with a diverse perspective on them, which I think he
successfully does as he simply presents he reality behind closed
doors. Ayckbourn's plays are as influential as is his capability to
scrutinize predictable, everyday middle class people, and nevertheless
to truthfully identify their fight to uphold these idyllic lives, at
the same time as clearly living the conflict and situations that so
many have to face.

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