Sisterly Feelings


Sisterly Feelings – By Alan Aykbourn

18th – 22nd May 2020
The Minack Theatre, Cornwall, TR19 6JU

Following the funeral of his wife, Ralph brings his family to a favourite spot on Pendon Common. With him are his two daughters, Abigail and Dorcas – trailing businessman husband Patrick and radical poet boyfriend Stafford respectively; his student son, Melvyn – with his fiancée Brenda and her brother Simon, and his brother-in-law, Detective Inspector Len, with his wife Rita. Both Abigail and Dorcas are attracted to the bronzed and athletic Simon. When Patrick has to leave prematurely to attend a business meeting, the rest are left with insufficient cars to get them all home. Either Abigail or Dorcas will have to walk home with Simon. They toss a coin and the loser goes home by car.

Scene 2 is a picnic four months later. Responsible for the arrangements of the picnic is whichever daughter lost the toss in Scene 1. The other daughter arrives at the picnic by bicycle, accompanied by Simon, and the proceedings are disturbed by the unexpected presence at the picnic of the husband / boyfriend whom Simon is currently displacing. The picnic is curtailed by a rainstorm, at which point the daughter accompanying Simon has to decide whether to remain with him – and face a soaking bike ride – or to return to her original partner.

On her decision rests the choice of a third scene: either a proposed romantic night under canvas with Simon and Abigail (which goes badly awry, thanks to vigilante patrolling by policeman Len), or the annual cross-country derby (which equally goes badly awry), in which Simon challenges the police champion. Meanwhile, Melvyn has failed his exams to become a doctor and has made Brenda pregnant.

By the beginning of Scene 4, depending on which version of the work has been played, Simon has enjoyed the favours of either Abigail or Dorcas, or of both in either order. Scene 4 follows Melvyn’s wedding to Brenda, as the family again gathers on the common to humour Ralph, who came here with his bride on his wedding day. Abigail and Dorcas are back with the partners they started with in Scene 1, aware, perhaps of the arbitrariness of the decisions they have taken to change the course of their lives. Simon is an embarrassed best man.
(Synopsis from Ian Watson’s Conversation With Ayckbourn)

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 Dr Ralph Matthews Mark Breach 
Len Coker  Simon Bennett 
Rita Coker  Georgina Walkey 
Abigail Smythe  Ali Mason 
Patrick Smythe  Guy Hanson 
Dorcas Matthews Kate Barden
Melvyn Matthews Jay Giblin
Brenda Grimshaw Emily Harrison
 Simon Grimshaw Robert Dean
Stafford Wilkins Jon Groves
Murphy  Nick Templar



Coming soon…