Five Interlinked One-act PlaysBook - 1977
Ayckbourn's series of five interlocked plays typify his black comedies of human behavior in recognizable and absurd domestic situations. First produced in 1976, the plays are alternately naturalistic, stylized and farcical, but underlying each is the problem of loneliness and characters who suffer the result of being ignored.
The Mother Figure shows a mother unable to escape from baby talk with adults; in The Drinking Companion an aging absentee husband clumsily attempts seduction without success; in Between Mouthfuls , an embarrassed waiter witnesses domestic break-ups on two separate tables. A garden party gets out of hand when a secret affair is announced over the loud speaker in Gosforth's Fete while A Talk in the Park is a revue-style curtain call piece for the five actors.
Alan Ayckbourn's witty dialogue and penchant for farce are perfectly featured among his best writing and most colorful characters.
The Student Edition features a comprehensive Introduction and additional information to provide context for understanding this play.