Taking Steps: Character Notes by Alan AyckbournAlan Ayckbourn rarely makes detailed notes about the characters in his plays, not least because he believes all the pertinent details can be found in the play itself. However, Alan Ayckbourn's personal archive contains some brief handwritten notes about Taking Steps, which offer Alan’s own insight into the characters as he was writing the play.
Mark: Friend of the family. Once in love with Elizabeth but gave way to Roland. Very boring. People fall asleep when he starts talking for long. Likes to discuss his own particular problems.
Elizabeth: Extremely neurotic. Very liberated. Refuses to be known as Mrs. Refuses to accept help from men. Beautiful. Ballet dancer.
Roland: Her husband. An arch-chauvinist. Heavy. Rich. Bullying. Used to getting his own way. Carries all before him except Elizabeth. Slightly mad. Made his fortune in buckets.
Tristram: Assistant partner in a firm of house agents: the ‘hero’. Very anxious to fall in with Roland’s wishes. Very shy of women. They render him speechless.
Kitty: Mark’s sister. A dark past. Now frigid as the result of awful event in the past with her first husband. Mark is still holding a vendetta against the swine!
Leslie: Son of Bill Bainbridge. The builder. Jovial schemer. Married. Gallant to the ladies. Patronising.
Other relevant Character Notes by Alan Ayckbourn:
Roland Crabbe is not the star part…. Tristram is the central character - not Roland.
Elizabeth is a spoilt, beautiful, overwhelmingly vain, selfish, self-centred, untalented, conceited, proud, stupid, scheming, Miss Piggy of a woman. She is unlucky enough to have married Roland Crabbe - but her motives were purely for gain and, in the end, when faced with freedom and the prospect of having to think for herself - even fend for herself - she prefers to live in her black velvet cage.
Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn. Please do not reproduce without permission of Alan Ayckbourn.