”A Talk in the Park” by Alan Ayckbourn Essay Sample

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‘A talk in the park’ is a play of both times. I believe this because times do not seem any different from the play to today. People on the play have near enough the same problems as people nowadays have. This shows that the way people are hasn’t changed since the 1970’s. The main thing to have changed over that period of time is technology. However there is nothing suggesting technology in the play. It seems as if Alan Ayckbourn has blocked any references of technology so he can let the future audiences of the script able to relate to the characters. The people in the park are a basically a wide variety of lifestyles and opinions of what we have in modern days.

In ‘A talk in the park’ the stage directions are very simplistic. I believe this is because Alan Ayckbourn tried to avoid giving away the sense of time by not including technology, as there is nothing to depict time. The stage directions just give you an idea on what certain characters are doing such as ‘(He sits)’. The simple use of stage directions also allows the audience to make their own interpretations. They make the setting sound simple aswell as they only allow you to imagine benches. Personally I think of a park I’ve been to before and can picture a few tree’s, bins and benches in a circular form. Once again this helps both contemporary and modern audiences to relate to the characters.

Also the nouns used are very simple, ‘a business man’ this just gives us a vague picture on what the characters look like.

The characters in ‘A talk in the park’ are what I believe to be everyday citizens of our country. First off Arthur seems like someone who used to love being young. I believe this because he says ‘Student, I bet…. Always tell a student.’ Even though he is wrong. This then actually makes me think, ‘aww he just wants to chat’.

However Beryl seems slightly rude in this scene. She then turns out to be a hypcrit as she starts babbling on to someone who obviously isn’t interested in her, like Arthur did.

On the other hand, Charles acts politely and walks away. But he is exactly the same as Beryl when it comes to talking. He starts rambling on about himself.

However, Doreen just walks away not saying a word. She thinks that Charles is after her. She seems to make out as if everyone wants her. Once again she starts a long lecture/speech to Ernest.

Again, like Doreen, Ernest just walks off without saying a word. He begins to talk about Doreen. Yet another Hypocrit.

This is like a constant merrigo-round as it has just gone in one big circle. All the characters are selfish and hypocritical. Their backrounds all have problems but have different morales.

First off Ernest Sounds like a middle aged man that feels lucky to get out doors. He is very negative as he says ‘You got kids? Don’t have kids.’ . He doesn’t even give Arthur anytime to answer or respond to the question. He seems to think he is badly treated by his wife ‘You’ve paid for it all but nothings your own.’ And he negatively says ‘I must’ve last prize in a raffle.’. He language is very modern and normal. It’s the language you and I would most likely speak. Alan Ayckbourn seems to make Ernest an extreme version of the household husband.

Arthur Seems like a typical man having a rest. He is a busy man as he says ‘I should be at home…I’ve got plenty of things I should be doing.’ You could consider him lazy and I should think a contemporary audience would but I doubt a modern one would. He also seems sexist as he basically says that he prefers women ‘the best of them are women… if I had a choice I’d be a women.’. This is rather odd to a modern audience and most certainly to a contemporary 16th century audience. Alan Ayckbourn must have made Arthur an unusual type of citizen. Arthur doesn’t really seem to have a problem. Just the fact he seems down that he isn’t a women.

Together Ernest and Arthur are two totally different people as Ernest dislikes women and Arthur loves them. Their language is near enough the same. You can’t really fully know how they act as there is no information on their gestures and posture. Alan Ayckbourn has given us a glimpse of two different people.

Overall I believe a modern audience can relate to these characters in ‘A talk in the park’. This is because the characters are an overview of our society today as a whole. Alan Ayckbourn makes it possible for us to relate by making no sense of time available in the play. He has done this cleverly, as if he wanted future audience to be able to relate to his play. I think that after people have watched this play they will either think ‘Yes, my life is very much like that.’ and ‘I’m glad my life isn’t like that.’. Or they may just be totally CONFUSED!

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