Henceforward...: Further Reading

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Consuming Passions. If you have a question about this or any other of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, you can contact the website via the Contact Us page.

Some of the technological references in the plays are now outdated, can they be changed for production?
As long as they are sympathetic and unobtrusive, yes. When Alan Ayckbourn revived the play in 2016, he made several small changes to the script relating to how technology had advanced, but they were minimal. The most noticeable alteration was Mervyn's description of all the technology about his person in Act II, which was essentially just cut to his alarm vest. The speech on page 51 of the Samuel French edition was cut to:

Mervyn (rather proudly): I've got a few wires about my person, yes, I have to admit it. Excuse me (He takes off his jacket to reveal a wired vest jacket). This is a personal alarm system. Latest type. West German. Naturally. Made by Heisser-Hausen Zeiplussen. They're a subsidiary of Glotz.

What is the significance of Deborah?
Deborah is Lupus's wife with whom Jerome has previously had an affair. It is implied this is one of the major reasons why Corinna left Jerome. Nan's threatening dialogue to Deborah - delivered to Zoë - is actually a recording of a threat from Corinna before she left the flat. Lupus is unaware of Jerome's affair, despite the fact he knows of Deborah's extra-marital reputation.

Is Paul Todd's original music from the world / West End premieres available to hire?
Sadly, no. The original music was located for Alan Ayckbourn's 2016 revival of the play but the quality of the recording was found to no longer be of high enough quality to use.

I've read that everyone essentially dies at the climax - or closely following the climax - of the play, is this correct?
Yes. This is undoubtedly one of the darkest of Alan Ayckbourn's plays and it is highly unlikely any character survives the events of the play. Alan Ayckbourn himself has noted all the characters are killed (see Quotes). Whilst NAN 300F is the only character to 'die' on stage, it is implied that Corinna, Geain and Mervyn do not survive the journey back to the armoured limousine. In Alan Ayckbourn's 2016 revival, this was subtly highlighted when Rita is seen attacking the video camera at the door at the climax of the play; rather than the using the iron bar mentioned in the script, she is using Jerome's 'walking stick' which Corinna had taken out with her. It is made very clear within the play-text that the car has all but been overwhelmed before everyone leaves the flat. As for Jerome, the implication is that the Daughters of Darkness will either break into his apartment or he will not be able to leave. But having completed his life work and knowing the futility of what he has achieved compared to what he has lost, Jerome has no future anyway.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.

The Henceforward… section of the website is supported by Simon Murgatroyd