Literature Study GuidesAbsurd Person Singular

Absurd Person Singular | Study Guide

Sir Alan Ayckbourn

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Sir Alan Ayckbourn

First Performed






About the Title

The title Absurd Person Singular occurred to Alan Ayckbourn in 1971 while he was on his way to a meeting with British producer Michael Codron (b. 1930). Liking the sound of the title, he noted it for future use and while scripting a new play in 1972 decided "this is Absurd Person Singular." This play, along with much of his work, has features in common with the theater of the absurd—plays with bizarre plots and repetitive dialogue designed to call attention to the characters' feelings of hopelessness. Ayckbourn's characters—facing loneliness and alienation in the suburbs—often have absurd responses to situations. In addition, the title is a pun or a play on words: the third-person singular refers to the grammatical class that includes single (as opposed to plural) nouns and pronouns: woman, man, he, she, or it.


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