This booklet is a ‘vademecum,’ a handy book of reference, the Latin word meaning “go with me.” In the 16th and 17th cen¬turies books of this kind were intended to be carried about and used to provide the facts needed on a specific subject. These days, you may just keep it with you because you find it helpful.
This particular vademecum wants to give insight into the ‘work¬shop’ of one of Britain’s most prominent director-playwrights. It does not provide detailed analyses of Alan Ayckbourn’s come¬dies, seventy-eight so far, but tries to point to and comment on stages in the development of this author’s creative work.
Longevity, memory, chance, and randomness have become issues in Ayckbourn’s latest plays. His structural inventiveness has become increasingly multifaceted over the years. And, as regards his audience, he wants them not just to receive and perceive what is happening on stage but individually conceive the intrinsic 'message‘ of the play.
Against this background, aseries of five short plays has lately been produced unter the title Roundelay (2014). These playlets can be performed in any order, leaving it to the audience to find out in what way, if at all, the events and characters in these plays are interlinked. Roundelay is totally different from Confusions, which as originally staged in 1970s and has recently been remounted - also a series of five short plays but meant tob e staged in a prescribed order.
Confusions to Roundelay, you - the readers - see for yourselves.