A Chorus Of Disapproval: Quotes by Other People

This page includes quotes about the play A Chorus Of Disapproval by people other than Alan Ayckbourn, predominantly drawn from books and articles about Alan Ayckbourn or British theatre; it does not include quotes from reviews, which can be found in the Reviews pages.

"In Dafydd in particular, Ayckbourn has created a character who cares about what he does to en extent that is wholly honourable even if it is sometimes laughable too. Occasionally, an Ayckbourn character gets a kind of spoken aria. It can express anger (Toby in Intimate Exchanges) and it can be gibberish (Tristram in Taking Steps), but Dafydd is given a passionate statement about the relationship between the arts and the rest of life in Britain that is not a million miles from Ayckbourn's own view both in its rage and in simultaneous self-deprecation."
(Paul Allen: A Pocket Guide To Alan Ayckbourn's Plays, 2004, Faber)

"The social satire in the play works two ways. Obviously, Ayckbourn is exposing the greed, graft, corruption and the causal sexual promiscuity of these outwardly respectable Pendon burghers. But the play also exposes Guy as the innocent nonentity who wreaks havoc by his simple inability to say 'No'. On one sense, he harks back to Colin in Absent Friends: the well-meaning, also bereaved hero who destroys a whole network of human relationships with a cheerfully vacuous smile. In another sense, he anticipates Jack McCracken in A Small Family Business…. Ayckbourn is, in fact, both using Guy as a means of uncovering the rottenness of this microcosmic society and at the same time warning us that it is the naive nonentities in life who are often the most dangerous of people." Guy's weakness itself becomes culpable."
(Michael Billington: Alan Ayckbourn, 1990, Palgrave)

"It's such a big, strong, vulnerable kind of a personality, a beautiful part to be offered [the role of Dafydd ap Llewellyn], that it really doesn't matter that it has been played before, because one has one's own approach to it."
(Colin Blakely - actor, The Stage, 19 June 1986)

"A Chorus Of Disapproval demonstrates a society's need for the art of the theatre, not merely as entertainment, but as a means of seeing the past in the present and the present in the past, thereby shedding light on age-old problems of existence. Whereas Ayckbourn's play, like Gay's [The Beggar's Opera], comments on the morality, or lack of it, on the part of a society's leaders, primary concern here as in elsewhere in his [Ayckbourn's] work is involves chance or choice as life's determine factor. Which matters more in deciding the ultimate destinies of Machete and Guy?"
(Albert E. Kalson: Laughter In The Dark, 1991, Garland Publishing)

"It is 12 years since I worked with Alan and when I read A Chorus Of Disapproval I was fairly convinced it was about me. It was so close to home. It is very reminiscent of the things that happened to me as an amateur - the social embarrassments and taking over parts at short notice. Alan must have been aware of all the experiences but he denied that it entered his mind." *
(Bob Peck - actor, Plays & Players, April 1986)

"Alan has a very realistic observation of the way people wander sexually, either actually or in their own heads. It is a very objective view of people. Like Chekhov he also has the ability to see humour in these situations. And the sadness, too. One of the things people say about
A Chorus Of Disapproval is: 'Is it a comedy?' because towards the end it becomes unbearably sad."
(Bob Peck - actor, Plays & Players, April 1986)

* Alan Ayckbourn had actually worked with Bob Peck as an amateur including directing him in an amateur production of his play
Mr Whatnot.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.