A Chorus of Disapproval Essay

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Hornby offers a favorable review of Ayckbourn 's play.

A good play that recently transferred to the West End from the National is Alan Ayckbourn's Chorus of Disapproval. Ayckbourn has received little serious critical attention, probably because he is so often compared to our Neil Simon. Like Simon, he writes comedies of contemporary life, and like Simon, he makes a lot of money at it, but otherwise the two are very dissimilar. Simon creates mostly eccentric characters, who are sometimes hilarious and sometimes all too predictable; Ayckbourn creates drab, ordinary characters who turn out to be oddly interesting and always funny. Simon's main source of humor is in verbal gags; Ayckbourn almost never uses them, relying instead on character and situation. Finally, Simon has little sense of dramatic structure (his main weakness), while Ayckbourn is obsessed with it; play after play involves some technical novelty, as in The...

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