Arrivals & Departures: Articles

This section contains articles about Arrivals & Departures by Alan Ayckbourn. For other interviews regarding Arrivals & Departures, click on the links in the column below.

This short article is an extract from Alan Ayckbourn introduction to the published collection Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 6 in which the playwright gives his brief thoughts on Arrivals & Departures.

Preface to Alan Ayckbourn: Plays 6

Articles by Alan Ayckbourn

Arrivals & Departures
Preface to Plays 6
Two years later in 2013, again playing with time somewhat, came Arrivals and Departures. Despite a relatively large cast, it is essentially a two-hander. Two complete strangers, opposites in every way, in age, sex, disposition and social level, meet at a railway station and over the course of barely an hour in each other's enforced company grow gradually closer. With just the hint that were the relationship to continue it might lead to an unlikely friendship between these two lonely people, despite the fact that at the end of their meeting they know precious little more about each other than they did when they met.

But we do, we know all about them. Through a series of brief flashbacks, hers in Act One and his in Act Two, we are able to piece together fragments of their respective pasts. Both acts cover the same time periods with the same events occurring and with only minute alterations in the dialogue. The differences are in the flashbacks, telling two very different stories of people who couldn't be less alike. Indeed, it's an experiment in storytelling. But I felt an interesting one. In some ways,
Arrivals and Departures is possibly the closest I've ever been to writing a tragedy.

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