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the Complete Review
the complete review - drama

Henceforward ...

Alan Ayckbourn

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To purchase Henceforward ...

Title: Henceforward ...
Author: Alan Ayckbourn
Genre: Drama
Written: 1987
Length: 98 pages
Availability: in: Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 1 - US
  • First performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, 30 July 1987

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Our Assessment:

A- : poignant, clever piece

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       Henceforward ... takes place in a dystopic future -- "Sometime quite soon", Ayckbourn ominously warns. The entire play is set in Jerome's flat. He is a composer, working with sampled pieces of sound, and to this end his home is filled with technological gadgets, as he records absolutely every sound in the flat. He doesn't live in the best neighborhood; indeed, things have gotten quite out of hand and he is essentially barricaded in his home, with shutters welded to the window frames. Still, he survives the occasional onslaught from the roving Daughters of Darkness (the local gang) and generally gets by.
       Jerome hasn't been able to compose for years, ever since his wife Corinna left him, taking their daughter Geain with her. Now he has an opportunity to at least see a bit of Geain, as Corinna has agreed to visit and discuss the possibility of the now thirteen year old child spending some time with her father. In order to make a good impression -- to show that he has gotten his life in order (though he most decidedly hasn't) -- Jerome hires an actress, Zoë, to play his fiancée.
       Jerome hasn't been living entirely by himself: a neighbour left him a nanny-android, called Nan. The nanny-android line never really took off and the company that made them went bankrupt, for reasons that become quite evident. Nan isn't in very good condition, but she keeps Jerome company and putters around happily enough.
       Zoë accepts Jerome's plan -- more than that, she even falls in love with him. But the artist in him can't be kept down and Zoë storms out before Jerome can show her off to Corinna. A desperate Jerome then fixes up Nan to play his fiancée -- with many of the predictable results.
       In Henceforward ... Ayckbourn again manages to juggle both farce and poignancy. There is broad comedy here, especially around Nan but also with characters like Geain, Mervyn Bickerdyke from the Department of Child Wellbeing, and Jerome's hapless on-screen but off-stage friend, Lupus. The struggle of the artist -- and the struggle for love -- are also very nicely explored.
       A rich, touching and amusing entertainment.

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Henceforward ...: Reviews: Alan Ayckbourn: Other books by Alan Ayckbourn under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Drama under review

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About the Author:

       British playwright Alan Ayckbourn was born in 1939. He has written more than fifty plays.

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© 2002-2009 the complete review

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