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My Wonderful Day

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  4w, 2m

"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."

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4w, 2m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult

Details

Summary
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 is told through the child's eyes, without an interval, and there is much scope for imaginative lighting and staging.
History

My Wonderful Day premiered at the Stepehn Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in October 2009 under the direction of Alan Ayckbourn.

Cast Attributes
WINNIE (WINONA) BARNSTAIRS - nearly 9
LAVERNE BARNSTAIRS - her mother, late 20s/ early 30s
THE MAN (KEVIN TATE) - 40s
PAULA - his wife, 30s
TIFFANY - the secretary, 20s
JOSH - the friend, 40s

It is appreciated that one of the diffi culties of this play is in casting Winnie the right age. Either she needs to be played by a young actor of a similar age with all the ensuing legal and logistical problems which casting an under-age performer entails or the role may be played by a slightly older actor who is able to create a truthful and credible impression of the character’s age. This, after all, is theatre! In either case, it is vital that the role is not in any way “up-aged”. Winnie is a child and this play is told through a child’s eyes.

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting In and around Kevin Tate's home in North London on a Tuesday in November.
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

"4 stars! Alan Ayckbourn is justly celebrated for writing great parts for women...but this, his 73rd adult drama, marks his furthest exploration into the pre-teen mind." — The Guardian, Read More 

"A compellingly still center lurks within the farcical storm of My Wonderful Day, the charming, rueful new comedy written and directed by the indefatigable Alan Ayckbourn." — The New York Times, Read More 

"This is an extremely funny and perceptive play by the acknowledged master of British comedy. A real crowd-pleaser." — Theatre is Easy, Read More 

Videos

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Growing As a Dramatist youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on Growing As a Dramatist

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Comparisons youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on Comparisons

  • Alan Ayckbourn on How to Approach His Plays youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on How to Approach His Plays

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Getting Started youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on Getting Started

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Writing a Well Made Play youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on Writing a Well Made Play

  • Alan Ayckbourn on Ideas youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn on Ideas

  • My Wonderful Day  youtube thumbnail

    My Wonderful Day

  • Alan Ayckbourn Difference between Then and Now youtube thumbnail

    Alan Ayckbourn Difference between Then and Now

More videos +

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.
    This title may have restrictions in place for London based productions. Please submit a licence request to confirm specific availability.

Scripts

Available Formats:

Authors

Alan Ayckbourn

A playwright and theatre director, to date Alan Ayckbourn has written 89 plays – Family Album attracted four-star reviews when it premiered in September 2022 at the Stephen Joseph, where nearly all his plays are first staged.

However, this year he will stage his 88th play Welc ...

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