If I Were You
By Alan Ayckbourn
25 - 30 May, 2015
Mal & Dean disagree
Jill can not convice Mal about Shakespere
Jill (or is it Mal) enjoys Sam's portrail
Are you sure the TV is better with the sound off Mum
Set, Cast & Crew
The Rodales seem like an ordinary family, but Jill and Mal have lost the spark in their marriage, until Mal and Jill see things from a dramatically different perspective, that is. Waking up one morning and finding they have switched personas, Mal in Jill’s body and Jill in Mal’s. Jill faces the challenge of working as the Store Manager of a homewares shop, while Mal has suddenly become a housewife. Will seeing things from the other side make matters worse, or is it just what they need to save their family?
“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!”
So wrote Robert Burns. The verse concerns the narrator seeing a louse walking through a lady’s bonnet. She was so high and mighty yet still she harboured a common louse.
The point is that we all have views about ourselves, have pretensions, and we often live our lives with a view of ourselves which is in contradiction to how we are seen, even by our nearest and dearest.
Like a lot of Ayckbourn’s plays this is based on a simple idea. What if a husband and wife, dissatisfied with their existing stereotypical gender roles, were to wake up one morning and discover they had changed bodies. To all outward appearance they look unchanged, their family perceive them to be the same people they were before. Only their inner egos, their spirits have changed, both finding themselves inhabiting a different alien shell; how will they cope?
The fact is that they do cope. They realise how dysfunctional their marriage has become and how they really are as human beings as they see themselves as others see them. Maybe many of us would benefit from a similar experience.
The play has dark comedy. There are times of humour interspersed with very poignant and heart-breaking moments. Hopefully we will all see bits where we can recognise ourselves or those we know.
How will it end?
I love Ayckbourn. I had the privilege of directing Seasons Greetings a few years ago and his book, “The Crafty Art of Playmaking” is a ‘must read’ for any director.
I am fortunate to have a wonderful cast and backstage crew for this production. Everyone has worked very hard to give what we hope will be a great performance. From all of them and from me we hope you enjoy your evening tonight.