Composers and their stage works 

Taking Steps

Alan Ayckbourn

Farce. 2 Acts - Scarborough 1979

M4 (25-40s) F2 (20s, 30s). A lounge, bedroom, attic, hall and stairs.

ISBN 0 573 11425 0

Hard-drinking bucket tycoon Roland has been renting The Pines, a large Victorian manor house and former brothel said to be haunted by ghostly prostitute Scarlet Lucy. He intends to buy the house, unaware that his wife, ex-dancer Elizabeth, is on the point of leaving him. His bumbling solicitor Tristram and the house's owner, builder Leslie, are ready for Roland's signature when he discovers Elizabeth's goodbye note. He postpones the deal and persuades Tristram to stay the night in the master bedroom - he is too upset to stay there himself.

From this point, events speed up to a farce-like velocity; Elizabeth returns and inadvertently beds with Tristram, who believes she is Scarlet Lucy; Elizabeth's brother Mark brings back his wayward fiancée Lizzie, who is accidentally locked up all night in an attic cupboard by drunken Roland; Leslie is assaulted, his motor-bike wrecked; there are various suicide
complications; Lizzie ends up in bed with Tristram and leaves Mark yet again - to be followed by Tristram. Elizabeth just cannot make up her mind whether to stay or go.

All this takes place in an ingenious setting where all the rooms, passages and stairs are on the same level.