Act One Scene Fifteen

Synopsis of Scene 15

Alan comes in to see Dysart, who tells him that the tape was very good, and asks him to clarify why he said the horse on the beach spoke. Dysart also asks Alan about who introduced him to the stables. We see Alan in the shop, talking to customers, and then Jill comes in and speaks to him. She says that she has seen him staring into the yard and asks him if he’d like a job mucking out the stables at weekends.

Commentary on Scene 15

aptitude … meaning: It is clear that Alan is quoting his father here. His mother apparently didn’t approve of his work in the shop, thinking it was beneath him.

off your chump: Colloquial phrase meaning ‘drive you to insanity’.

Philco … Pifco: The customers call out brand names of electrical items, and Alan has to try to help them to find the items they want. As he says, it was enough to make him go mad.

Investigating scene 15...

  • How does Alan respond to Dysart’s questions?
  • How did Alan feel about working in the shop?
    • Do you think his work contributed to his breakdown?
    • How did his parents feel about his work?
  • How effective do you think the staging is, using benches to form Dysart’s office and the shop, and then moving them to create the horses’ stalls?
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