Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn
Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th April 1980
The Civic Hall, Trowbridge
Housewife Lucy has the difficult job of looking after the children alone whilst her husband is away. This taken over her life; so much so that she never leaves the house and doesn’t even have the time to change out of her pyjamas. Concerned neighbour Rosemary decides to come around to check on Lucy and to give her the number of her husband Harry who has been trying to call her for a while, and is shocked to find Lucy rushing around trying to look after the children and revealing that she doesn’t listen to bells.
Harry, husband of Lucy, tries to flirt with perfume saleswoman Paula. Harry’s obvious and strong advances scare Paula somewhat, however Paula makes the most of the free drinks Harry is providing until friend Bernice approaches and tries to get her to leave. Harry gives Paula his room key in obvious hope and persists to flirt and also trying his luck with Bernice. Eventually the women become quite adamant that they must leave so Harry goes to get them a taxi, whilst he is gone the two women escape leaving the key with a waiter.
Harry (Lucy’s Husband)
In the same hotel as the people in Drinking Companions two couples at adjoining restaurant tables realise an unwelcome common bond, assisted by an interactive waiter. Mrs Pearce wonders who Mr Pearce is sleeping with. Polly’s not been frank to Martin (who really doesn’t care at all about Polly’s affair). The waiter is extremely well spoken. There’s clever direction of the alternation between the two sets of conversations. A twist to the plot-line spices the ending.
A Talk in the Park
In a park, the same in which Gosforth’s Fete took place, sit five strangers on separate park benches, each with their own troubles. Arthur, a rather suspect fellow with an interest in cigarette card collecting and women-watching. Beryl, a young woman with a husband who beats her. Charles, an old business man on the verge of bankruptcy. Dog-loving Doreen and Ernest who is happily relaxing on his bench. Each character is trying to get the attention of the next person but fail. The end result is five miserable people who are all feeling ignored, despite the fact that it is their own fault for ignoring everyone else.
Publican Gosforth is running the village gala. Due to a big mistake bad personal news from Milly Carter is publicised over the public-address system. Milly’s fiancé Stewart Stokes becomes extremely aggravated and drowns his sorrows with alcohol. Councillor Mrs Pearce, after the most disorganised greeting is electrocuted by the PA system. Gosforth’s Fete starts like all village fetes do. However it develops into chaos and as things continue to go wrong the play climaxes to a complete disaster