Alphabetical Order and Donkeys' Years (Modern Plays)

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9780413379900: Alphabetical Order and Donkeys' Years (Modern Plays)

Set in the library of a provincial newspaper where battle is joined between the forces of order and chaos, between arid organization in the person of the new library assistant, Leslie, and humane confusion in the person of Lucy, the much-loved resident librarian. Drawing on his experience as a journalist, Frayn draws his gallery of characters with the hilarious accuracy which can only come from first-hand experience.

Winner of the Evening Standard's Best Comedy Award after a long run at the Hampstead Theatre and on London's West End in 1975. This edition features the author's revised version of the script presented at the Hampstead Theatre in 2009.

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About the Author:

Michael J. Frayn is an English playwright and novelist and author of Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy.

Review:

'It is no barrier to the enjoyment of Michael Frayn's 1975 comedy that the kind of newspaper cuttings library in which it takes place has been superseded by digital archives... The great virtue of this enlightened comedy is that it transcends the technological revolution to deal with eternal verities.' Michael Billington, Guardian, 22.4.09 'Michael Frayn's sweet-natured comedy about an endangered regional newspaper raises wry chuckles 34 years on from its first performance... The play is a sentimental and prescient protest against those who prioritise efficiency and profit margins over human beings... Its quasi-philosophical homage to the art of cataloguing information...has arguably become more interesting over the intervening years, an inadvertent prophecy of the triumphant age of Google.' Claire Allfree, Metro, 23.4.09 'Frayn studs his script with typically wry, philosophical one-liners that slip easily off his over-analytical characters' tongues. And their goal, at first murky, turns out to be survival itself.' Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 23.4.09 'Alphabetical Order proves poignant as well as funny. It also seems astonishingly prescient... Frayn's fictional paper's fate eerily mirrors the current acute anxiety in the newspaper business where long established titles are collapsing with alarming frequency.' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 23.4.09 'Michael Frayn's delightful 1975 newspaper cuttings-library comedy' Michael Coveney, Independent, 23.4.09

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Frayn, Michael
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