Time Of My Life: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Time Of My Life. If you have a question about this or any other of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, you can contact the website via the Contact Us page.

I'm struggling to understand the structure, could you explain how the play works?
Time Of My Life is a difficult play to explain and doesn't necessarily lend itself to reading from the script. It does, however, make perfect sense on stage and audiences tend to grasp the structure very quickly in performance.
The play begins with a party for the Stratton party at the Essa de Calvi restaurant. At the end of the meal, only Gerry and Laura are left - the events in this table occur in 'present' time (i.e. the same amount of time as the audience experience) and the moments when the play focuses on another plot line is - essentially - the silence that punctuates their conversation. Following the party, we move to another table with Stephanie and Glyn; their scenes take place in 'future' time, moving forward months through time post-party. We then experience Adam and Maureen on a third table; their scenes take place in 'past' time, moving backwards from the party over the course of weeks. In this way, the past, present and future and entwined on stage.

Is the restaurant featured in Time Of My Life, the same restaurant as seen in the first act of Consuming Passions?
Probably not. Although two of the waiters from Time Of My Life - Aggi and Dinka - are seen in Consuming Passions, the impression is this is an entirely different bistro. In the script for Consuming Passions, the venue is named the Ristorante Calvinu and in Time Of My Life, it is the Essa de Calvi. There is also the fact that Time Of My Life is explicitly set in the north of England, whilst the restaurant in Consuming Passions is explicitly stated as being in Clapham. The probable answer to this - given the re-use of characters working in a restaurant explicitly linked to Calvinu, the owner of the Essa de Calvi - is Calvinu has expanded his business and Aggi and Dinka have moved to London to make their fortune in this branch of the family business.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without crediting the author and the website.