Man of The Moment: Articles

This section features articles by Alan Ayckbourn and other authors relating to Man Of The Moment. Click on a link in the right-hand column below to read the relevant article.

This article by Alan Ayckbourn was drawn from correspondence written in 1993 and held in the Ayckbourn Archive.

Author's Notes on Man of the Moment

Concerning the initial entrance of Vic:
I intended us only to see Cindy. Of course, that first entrance has a slightly 'symbolic' intention. Evil and Innocence. We don't need to hit it too hard but it's there. One kid is a statement. Two kids is a family. Timmy comes in by another route.

Concerning Douglas’s faith:
Douglas is probably a practising Christian. Nothing much to do with class, I think. He has a centre to him which springs from an inner certainty about some things.

People with a faith seem to have this. He's also pretty hot on turning the other cheek. So is Nerys but that's another story. I don't know if they're churchgoers.

I think Douglas's use of the word 'exorcize' [to Vic] is a Freudian slip of the tongue. He certainly didn't mean it consciously. But it's there for us to pick up. As in all these things it's important that we allow the audience to pick up on them, never for us to be caught telling them.

Concerning Kenny:
Kenny. It was intended to be a description of the type of man he was rather than what he did. There is a new breed of manager over here that are sleek, beautifully dressed and groomed and with the morals of piranha fish.

He's from an uncertain background - probably East End working class, but with barely a trace of an accent and no way now to discern origins. They're often Boxing promoters or Snooker Managers.

Kenny is I suspect a deeply dangerous man. It's never stated but there is always a physical threat present in him - especially towards Jill. And most women.

Most of the time in the play, he is in the shadow of Vic. He's the unseen power behind the throne. The rest of the time he is a basking shark, restricting himself to a gentle waspish viciousness.

He does little to hide his contempt for Douglas - who doesn't notice fortunately. But then people like Vic attract like to like. Ex-convicts like Ruy for instance.

Concerning the Swimming Pool:
Putting a body of water anywhere is difficult and in the theatre it becomes doubly difficult, because theatres are largely electrified places.

So you have to make sure that the two don't meet. The first requirement is to make the thing waterproof. Water also weighs an awful lot, so most stage structures are not geared to carry that sort of weight.

There are tricks you can learn about water, and displacement is one of them. The pool, although it looks quite deep, is relatively shallow. It's also up to the skill of the actors to convince us that's it very, very deep.

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