Sisterly Feelings: Quotes by Other People

This page includes quotes about the play Sisterly Feelings 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.

"The plays are richly textured over and above the love stories, with Ralph's developing eccentricities forcing the women to wonder which of them he should live with, like a comic King Lear, and Inspector Len's attempts to control everything from morality to sport displaying an inevitable futility when things take their natural course. If Abigail's version seems to be the stronger of the two, it is partly because Abigail is married to Patrick and so there is more at stake for both of them; Dorcas's relationship with Stafford is clearly only the last in a series of passions for feeble men."

(Paul Allen: A Pocket Guide To Alan Ayckbourn's Plays, 2004, Faber)

"In performance, the play does pose one real problem: that Abigail's variations are much more interesting than Dorcas's because she is married. A woman dithering between a dull husband and a bronzed lover is far more fascinating than one caught between two boyfriends; simply because more is at stake. That, in itself, says quite a lot about our nostalgic affection for the iron properties of marriage: we still find adultery more exciting than a choice of lovers. But it also has to be said that Abigail's nocturnal Bacchic frenzy on Pendon Common is far funnier than Dorcas and Stafford sorting out their problems in the middle of a cross-country race."
(Michael Billington: Alan Ayckbourn, 1990, Palgrave)

"Sisterly Feelings is brilliantly, wickedly funny, but the bleakness underlying so much of Alan's view of life seems to be increasing. The play is about decisions, the moments of choice, whether to change your life or not, and the consequent calamities and happiness.... It is a joy to behold such craft, such perception, such absurdity."
(Sir Peter Hall, The Times, 4 June 1980)

"This week we have opened Alan Ayckbourn's Sisterly Feelings [at the National Theatre] with a totally contemporary setting, which we've given in the Olivier. I think it's very funny, but the left wing are sure to complain that we are being far too commercial."
(Sir Peter Hall, The Times, 4 June 1980)

"The alternate scenes, however, lend the play an air of spontaneity, making it a milestone in the contemporary theatre. Because the play illustrates its dramatist's theory of comic determinism. by exploring the effect of chance or choice on his characters' lives, chance or choice plays upon the audience as well."
(Albert E. Kalson: Laughter In The Dark, 1991, Associated Universities Press)

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.