Henceforward...: Character Notes by Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn rarely writes in-depth character notes for his characters. However, within his personal archive there are notes sent by Alan Ayckbourn for casting the 1987 North American premiere which he directed at the Alley Theatre, Houston. A larger article by the playwright on the character of Jerome can also be found here.

Casting Notes

Jerome: (late thirties, early forties) As you may gather, a flawed man. It will need an actor with a certain inbuilt charm to compensate for the man's infuriating selfishness. I think we need an actor who, a few years ago, could have played Norman in The Norman Conquests. He was equally outrageous but redeemed by the fact that he was totally transparent about everything he did. A child who honestly believed that the world was built for him to play in and that God had, very considerately, laid on a large cast of supporting players as well.

Zoë: (mid to late twenties) Fairly clear this one, I think. Vivacious, fun, a bit dizzy - but not cute! When she takes on the mantle of Nan in part two she becomes a very sanitised, hygienic version of her former self. But what might be trickier is that she should be about the same height, (I think size of frame less important) as:-

Corinna: (mid thirties) We get the bad news about her in Act I, of course. A rather stern, tough image, the reverse of Zoë in fact. In Act Two, when the poor woman cracks apart we see the woman within. Chic. Sort of angular whereas Zoë is curved, if you know what I mean.

Geain: Not a child, please. Just a very small actress.

Mervyn: (thirties) Quite a big man, I think. Firm handshake and a good clean smile. Why does nobody like him? Perhaps because of his firm handshake and his good clean smile. Children loathe him. He manages to talk down to new born babies.

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