Woman In Mind: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's play Woman In Mind.

Some commentators have suggested that Woman In Mind is autobiographical and the role of Susan is inspired by Alan Ayckbourn's mother. Is this true?
Alan Ayckbourn has always denied this to be the case and has gone on the record as saying Woman In Mind is no more or less autobiographical than any other play he has written. When questioned directly in 2016 as to whether his mother had inspired any of the characters in his plays, he responded that she'd probably most inspired the unseen mother in The Norman Conquests; no mention of Woman In Mind was made at all.

Susan's Dialogue
In Alan Ayckbourn's Woman In Mind, the play begins with Doctor Bill Windsor apparently speaking incomprehensibly as a result of Susan being hit by a rake. Although not essential to staging the play, the website is frequently asked what these lines mean in order to better deliver the intent of them.
Reprinted below is Alan Ayckbourn's own translation of the relevant 'incomprehensible' lines in the play alongside what the characters are actually saying.

Act 1 (first page)

All these lines are spoken by Bill Windsor:

Ah! Score ache.
Ah! You’re awake.

Wo! Won’t spiderslit up pikelet...
No! Don’t try to sit up quite yet.

Skater baby.
Later maybe.

Squeezy... squeezy...
Easy... easy...

Score grounds appeal cumquat doggy Martha had sick on the bed...
You’re bound to feel somewhat groggy after that hit on the head...

Squeezy, cow, squeezy...
Easy, now, easy...

Saul bite. Saul bite.
It’s all right. It’s all right.

Octer bin sir. Climb octer bin sir. Mrs sure pardon choose ‘un.
Doctor Windsor. I’m Doctor Windsor. This is your garden, Susan.

Choose ‘un, choose ’un. Pea squeak jinglish. Pie squeaking jinglish cow. Choose ‘un...
Susan, Susan. We speak English. I’m speaking English now. Susan.

Choose un...
Susan...

Act 2 (final page)

These lines are spoken by Susan:

... I grow hugh, summer few bald teddy know these two wonderful children, Lucy and Rick. I cannot tell you how heaply cowed siam.
Tinny beers a show. High december how rotten high trade fat haywood throw twig and throng hike hair share rents. Pie lank hod hat day lid! Hens, hang few saw paw up-short. Hang few. Hang few, hens, sizzle pie tart insole. Grey ice way chew...? Grey ice way...?
Hair growing, hens? Goosey? Gandy? Chair old? Hair shone? Tone show, fleas. Fleas, tone show. December bee? Choose ‘un. December choosey. December bee? December bee?


... I know you, some of you already know these two wonderful children, Lucy and Rick. I cannot tell you how deeply proud I am. Many years ago. I remember how often I prayed that they would grow big and strong like their parents. I thank God that they did! Friends, thank you for your support. Thank you. Thank you, friends, with all my heart and soul. May I say to you...? May I say...? Where are you going, friends? Lucy? Andy? Gerald? Where’ve you gone? Don’t go, please. Please, don’t go. Remember me? Susan? Remember Susie? Remember me? Remember me?

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.

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