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Woman in Mind

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  13 reviews
By turns sad and funny, satiric and moving, Alan Ayckbourn's intelligent British comedy Woman in Mind charts, without sentimentality or heartless irony, a frowsy middle-aged Englishwoman's hopeless descent into psychosis. ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Samuel French Ltd
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Bionic Jean
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Woman in Mind is a powerful study of a woman on the edge of insanity. Told mostly as a monologue, the action depicts her increasingly delusional behaviour and gradual breakdown into a psychotic state. The reasons for her behaviour become evident as the play progresses. She is clearly neglected emotionally. Her husband, a vicar, has long lost any interest in his wife, concentrating instead on the book he is writing about the history of his Parish. He also pays particular attention to his sister M ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, british, comedy
Conked on the head with a rake, Susan awakens to find her doctor kneeling next to her, speaking a language she can't understand: "Score grounds appeal cumquat doggy Martha hat sick on the bed." Neither can we, for that matter, for Ayckbourn's proclaimed goal in writing Woman in Mind was "to write a first-person narrative, a play seen like a film through the lens of a hand-held camera." The result being that in a very real sense we are as trapped as Susan is in her mind, able to perceive only wha ...more
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Susan is a middle-aged woman, trapped in a loveless marriage to a smug vicar, and estranged from her son. After a minor accident with a garden rake, her mind starts to conjure up the perfect fantasy family. But the line between imagination and reality soon becomes alarmingly blurred.
Goko Sirawit
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Do I really have to do term paper working on this play?? Goshh-_-||
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Susan's self-importance drives her to reconstruct another family who live and care her. However, this just sinks her deeper into the quagmire of desperation. When the reality is getting harsher and more brutal than she could swallow, she plunges into the virtual would for solace. Nonetheless, the reconstructed family isn't a pillar which she could rely on, she is thrown either into the chasm of ignorance or briefly onto the summit of honour. Eventually, she lost her sense of self which she usual ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written play with a complex exciting role for actresses
Duncan Maccoll
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dark, powerfull, brilliantly acted. I have seen the play twice, once as an amateur production and once a professional, directed by Ayckbourn himself. Both versions were well acted and the depth of the play came though strongly. The character of Susan is particularly important, played by Dorothy Norris and Janie Dee respectively, well done ladies.

The play is subtitled - December Bee.

Angela Cuéllar
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
pooled ink Reviews:

Ayckbourn is quite clever. I enjoyed this play and how it made you feel guilty for laughing because although on the surface everything was quite hilarious deeper down it was incredibly sad.

Read my review here:
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, 2020-reads
After accidentally knocking herself in the head with a rake, Susan awakens to a doctor speaking gibberish over her. As she slowly regains understanding, it becomes clear there is still something unsettling wrong.

A very interesting read and probably an even more compelling show to see.
Michael P.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Has Alan Ayckbourn ever written a really significant play? Don't think so, but he does write engaging baubles, and this is one of his better baubles. Worth enjoying, but maybe not worth studying. ...more
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Brilliant, funny and sad
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Sir Alan Ayckbourn is a popular and prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-three full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal Nat ...more

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