In June and July we will be returning to some favourite writers, before tackling Anna Karenina in September and October.
On 5 July we will read Time of My Life by Alan Ayckbourn. I was looking for something 'light' to help us cope with this heat, but it IS Ayckbourn - so don't expect a RomCom!
Time of my Life takes place in Essa de Calvi, a ‘foreign’ restaurant: its exact nationality remains unclear!
The play begins as a family meets to celebrate Laura’s birthday. It is typical Ayckbourn, and therefore the family are of course in for a bumpy ride! Along the way we meet a cast of waiters – all of whom are related in this family-run restaurant and all of whom, interestingly, are cast to be played by the same actor – who must have some jolly quick costume and make-up changes!
During the course of the play we will follow Laura and Gerry’s story as it proceeds in “real” time. Glyn and Stephanie’s story will run at a different pace, at a different table, into the future, and we will look back at Adam and Maureen’s story, again at a different table.
Laura: 50s, mother, wife of Gerry. A force to be reckoned with. Despite the appearance of being no more than a support to her husband, she has in fact played a vital and largely unsung role in her husband’s success. She is just as astute and determined as him.
Gerry: 50s, father, husband of Laura. Successful, self-made business man. Originally a builder, he has diversified and weathered economic storms and recessions through a combination of astuteness and ruthlessness. Visibly he is very much the head of the family, a man who rarely if ever expects his words or actions to be questioned.
Glyn: Elder son. Late 20s, at first glance very much his father’s son. But he has lived for too long in Gerry’s shadow, and been compared unfavourably to him once too often. He has tried to compete with his over-competitive parent and failed. He has been groomed to take over the family business, but it is unlikely that the firm will survive when he does. He has charm, but little of his father’s drive or ambition.
Stephanie: Mid 20s, Glyn’s wife. Has one child and, due to recent emotional upheavals in her marriage, has worn less well than she should have for someone reasonably comfortably off and with few material worries. In marrying Glyn she may have hoped she was marrying the father, but has learnt better.
Adam: Younger son. Early 20s. Apple of his mother’s eye, he is a nervous, uncoordinated windmill of a boy and in gatherings such as this hopelessly out of his depth.
Maureen: Adam’s girlfriend. Very much the outsider, who is meeting the family for the first time.
The Restaurant Staff
Tuto: Eternally cheerful and happy to serve
Bengie: Younger, no English
Dinka: In his 30s, constantly sour
Ernesto Calvinu: Middle-aged, ample, the owner of the restaurant
Aggi: Middle aged. Has adopted Adam & Maureen who first fell in love at one of his tables and feels responsible for their continued happiness. Prone to bursts of unaccompanied, full-blooded singing of folk songs in his native tongue, which he hopes will further the course of true love.