BWW Review: Alan Ayckbourn's ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR at Theater Row- Curious Characters and Holiday Laughs
Absurd Person Singular, the 1972 play written by Sir Alan Ayckbourn, is currently on stage at Theatre Row through December 29. Directed by John Cotgrave, this clever story is just right for the season. The humorous show is divided into three segments and tells of the changing lives of three unique married couples. Each of the acts is set during Christmastime when the entire group gathers in the kitchen of one of the families. The play was performed on Broadway in both 1974 and 2005. Now, metro area audiences have the opportunity to enjoy Ayckbourn's captivating story.
In Absurd Person Singular, the husband and wife pairs of Sydney and Jane Hopcroft, Ronald and Marion Brewster-Wright, along with Geoffrey and Eva Jackson have annual holiday gatherings. The Hopcrofts have a desire to climb the social ladder, particularly Sydney who has big business plans. It is soon evident that the three pairs have little in common. With each passing year, we see changes in the couples' personal dynamics along with their social and professional relationships. Ayckbourn has captured the comedy of human foibles while perceptively portraying each of the character's personalities.
Each member of the cast is very well suited to their roles with excellent comedic timing as they deliver the play's sharp dialogue. They include Josh Nutbrown as Sidney Hopcroft; Eve Burley as Jane Hopcroft; Adam Elms as Ronald Brewster-Wright; Marly Sykes as Marion Brewster-Wright; Alex Thompson as Geoffrey Jackson; and Claire Marlein as Eva Jackson. There are also the characters of Dick and Lottie who are discussed but not seen and the Jackson's large, out of control dog.
Absurd Person Singlular will definitely have you laughing and at times, feeling a sense of empathy for the characters. There are memorable moments throughout the play that include Jane furiously cleaning the kitchen to impress guests; Marion and Ronald commenting on the Hopcroft's kitchen; Geoffrey explaining to Eva that they should separate; a distraught Eva attempting suicide while the others seem oblivious; Ronald trying to fix an electrical fixture; and Jane and Sydney orchestrating a holiday game at the Brewster-Wright's home.
The Creative Team has done a great job of bringing the show to the Off-Broadway stage. They include music by Paul Chamberlain; Technical Manager, Tom Blakemore; Stage Manager, Richard McArtney, General Manager Tania Smith; and Set Construction by BNG Industries.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season and see Absurd Person Singular. It's an opportunity to relax and have some good laughs!
Absurd Person Singular is produced by Dick & Lottie Theatre Company from West Yorkshire in England that specializes in the works of Alan Ayckbourn. The show runs for two and a half hours with two intermissions. It will be on stage at Theater Row through 12/29 located at 410 West 42nd Street, New York NY 10036. For tickets and more information, please visit: https://bfany.org/theatre-row/shows/absurd-person-singular/. You can also follow Dick & Lottie at http://www.dickandlottie.com/.
Photo Credit: Richard McArtney