My Wonderful Day

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Characters: 2 male, 4 female Comedy Winnie is nearly nine. Her mum, Laverne, is second-generation Afro-Caribbean and heavily pregnant but continues with her cleaning job since her husband left while she dreams of moving the family back to Martinique. Tuesdays are special: Laverne insists that Winnie speaks only French (in preparation for Martinique) and today is Tuesday - not her usual day to clean at the north London house of Kevin Tate, an affluent, bad-tempered, philandering, minor television personality. Not well enough to go to school, Winnie accompanies her mum and settles down to her homework: an essay entitled My Wonderful Day. Throughout the course of the next few hours, the shy, astute and ever-watchful Winnie will amass plenty of material for her essay as a variety of adults parades before her: Kevin's baby-talking and patronizing mistress, his vengeful wife, and the hungover family friend who pours out his heart believing that Winnie doesn't speak English. But as events reach a frenzied climax, Winnie's essay will speak volumes. This hilarious and bitter-sweet classic from Alan Ayckbourn premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough before transferring to New York and a UK tour. The play is told through the child's eyes, without an interval, and there is much scope for imaginative lighting and staging. Alan Ayckbourn back on blistering form...My Wonderful Day finds him in top form - and breaking new ground. The play is often blissfully and farcically funny. But there is an ache of sorrow here for children who have to grow up too quickly. - Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph ...a startling play full of Ayckbourn's rueful, comic wisdom. - Michael Billington, Guardian A compellingly still center lurks within the farcical storm of My Wonderful Day, the charming, rueful new comedy. -The New York Times Ayckbourn is on top form here in his devilishly witty writing...His social commentary has renewed bite too, Ayckbourn taking a swipe at soulless city developments in an advert for Fantacity, and issuing a cry from the heart about the loneliness of boarding schools...Ayckbourn triumphs again with his wonderful new play. -The Press One of Ayckbourn's terrific qualities lies in making what must be awful for his characters funny for us. Why this never seems cruel is part of the miracle, and must relate to their inability ever to consider they are being ridiculous...Ayckbourn can bring the house down with a single word! -The Times Ayckbourn's 73rd play is a feat of extraordinary imagination. Sorry, another extraordinary feat of imagination. At 70 years old, the playwright is still tinkering with the mechanics of the stage and what can be done within its realms...By the end of the interval-less hour and 50 minutes I was willing the show to go on. I could have spent several more hours watching the world through Winnie's eyes. -Yorkshire Post