Ayckbourn Comedy ‘Absent Friends’ to be Performed at Bartlett Theatre – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Ayckbourn Comedy ‘Absent Friends’ to be Performed at Bartlett Theatre

A comedy, with a dark undercurrent, of British middle class life in 1974 plays at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
(Jan. 28, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.—The second Bartlett Theatre production of the season is “Absent Friends” by the British comic genius Alan Ayckbourn. Directed by Professor Robert Gross, the play will run at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, through Saturday, Feb. 5, at Bartlett Theatre, Coxe Hall, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. Tickets are available at Bartlett Theatre box office, 1/2 hour before opening.

“Absent Friends” was first produced in 1974 at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, England. The story follows Colin, whose friends are determined to comfort him in his grief over the death of his fiancée – a girl they have never met. They arrange a tea-party for him and are on edge wondering what to say to him as they await his arrival. Their unease, however, has deeper roots as they are all kept together by a mixture of business and cross-marital emotional ties. By the time Colin arrives their tension contrasts dramatically with his cheerfully relaxed air.

The cast includes sophomore Jamie Agnello, from Oil City, Pa.; senior Kelly Burke, from Thornton, Colo.; first-year Julius Ferraro, from Philadelphia, Pa.; junior Quinn Hurley, from Wildwood Crest, N.J.; first-year Peter Marciano, from Syracuse, N.Y.; and sophomore Sarah Walsh, from West Chazy, N.Y.

Ayckbourn is the author of “Absurd Person Singular,” “How the Other Half Loves” and “The Norman Conquests.” He is one of the world's most successful living playwrights and is internationally acclaimed as both playwright and director. He advocates the use of round theatre space for the majority of his plays and he is the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, in Scarborough, England, where he premieres the majority of his plays.