COMEDY IS NOT “THE POOR COUSIN OF DRAMA.”

COMEDY IS NOT “THE POOR COUSIN OF DRAMA.” Alan Ayckbourn is a great favorite of mine. I posted several times,including here, on INTIMATE EXCHANGES, his set of sixteen plays. I managed to see five of them in eight days a couple years ago. Ayckbourn wrote a book about the theater (THE CRAFTY ART OF PLAYMAKING) which is structured around 100 “Obvious Rules.” Obvious Rule No. 1 is: “Never look down on comedy or regard it as the poor cousin of drama.” Ayckbourn says that when he began in theater in the fifties, the repertory company would alternate a comedy for a week and a drama for a week. “The comedy would be lit as brightly as possible and performed loudly and broadly and very, very fast.” In the drama, the stage lights would be darkened and “there would be much motionless pausing whilst the audience vainly scanned the darkness for any hint that there was anyone left on stage.” Ayckbourn thinks that his own writing has helped bring back the idea of comedy and drama coexisting in a play, and I agree. He is thought of as a comic writer, but there is sadness in all his plays.

This entry was posted in Theater. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to COMEDY IS NOT “THE POOR COUSIN OF DRAMA.”

  1. Nick says:

    I’ve always felt that laughter reflects true sincerity of emotion – I’m not very good at perceiving feigned emotion, but I can always spot a fake laugh, and I’d say most people could. As an actor, I always had trouble faking being amused.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.