Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

The Sewell Barn Company

Flare Path Back to casting notes


By Alan Ayckbourn

Directors: Cassie Tillett and Clare Williamson

Contact details: 07802 475110;

Performance dates:  21 - 23 February; 27 February –2 March 2019


In change from his usual fare Alan Ayckbourn turns away from creating the farce, instead choosing to watch it. Confusions is five short plays performed by a cast of five – three men and two women.  The stories are very tenuously linked with one character from each of the stories moving on to the next.  Set in the 1970’s the play will be staged with 3 of the stories shown in the first half and two in the second half.  

Mother figure – A stay at home mother is raising three small children nearly single handed whilst her husband is regularly away on business.  Concerned neighbours call round after the absent husband rings the neighbours to say he can’t get an answer from his wife.  The ensuing conversation between neighbours and the mother raises the question ‘who is the more childish in their behaviour the children or the grown ups?’

Drinking companion – Whilst his wife is home looking after the three small children the father/husband is playing away … determined to get some quality time with Paula and, later, Bernice, Harry just keeps getting them drinks, served by the ever-observant waiter.  Who is going to be getting their way after all that booze?

Between mouthfuls – Elsewhere in the same hotel two couples are meeting up for dinner.  The young wife has returned to her overworked husband.  The older overworked husband has returned to his neglected wife.  Career minded or neglectful, cheating or careful the conversations of the two couples ensue ably assisted by the unflappable waiter.

Gosforth’s Fete – As the older wife, in her day job of local councillor, attends to open the fete calamities galore are breaking out in the marquee as the vicar can’t stop the tea urn, the gym master is drinking himself under the table, the entire village knows about a clandestine affair and the gym team are wrecking the scaffolding … oh, and it is raining …

A Talk in the Park – The fete has gone and the skies have cleared … just a sunny afternoon in the park, watching the world go by and feeding the birds.  Desperate for company but unable to engage with the weirdos around them five people, four benches, have an awful lot of nothing to say.


Female  Lucy, Paula, Polly, Milly, Beryl – 20/30s

Rosemary, Bernice, Mrs Pearce, Mrs Pearce, Doreen – 40+

Male  Harry, Harry, Martin, Stewart, Arthur – 30/early 40s

Waiter, Waiter, Gosforth, Ernest – 40s

Terry, Vicar, Charles – 50+


Each rehearsal will focus on one play.  Rehearsals by mutual agreements (preferring to avoid weekends where possible) and will start December 11th.


Sunday 21st October 2018, 7.30pm.  Exercise and sections from the script: Samuel French, 1977.  ISBN: 0 573 11073 5