“A comedy about six Londoners leading lives of quiet desperation, it is rueful, funny, touching and altogether wonderful.”
- The New York Times

 

If you were in the crosshairs what would you do? Three longtime friends – a Democratic Congressman, a liberal professor, and a stoner, with his dog – embark on an unforgettable hunting trip where one of them doesn’t survive the day.

 

Private Fears in Public Places is cinematic play about the linked lives of six Londoners, the story moves seamlessly between apartment-hunting, solitary boozing, dating agency disappointments and a sour, bedridden patient getting more than he expected. 

Six lonely people, six separate lives all searching for a connection – yet all strangely linked by circumstance.  Does Nicola still love Dan?  Will Dan stop his endless pub-going days and look for a job?  Can Stewart, Nicola’s real estate agent, be on the verge of an office romance with Charlotte?  What on earth is Charlotte up to on her 2nd shift job with her bedridden patient?  Will Imogen, Stewart’s middle-aged sister, ever find true love in the personal ads?  Does Ambrose, Dan’s bartender, have a secret life? 

These are all combined with Ayckbourn’s signature plot developments such as a bed-hopping drunk and the suburban terrors of sex. However, the play is remarkable for its superb construction, sharp observation and understated air of melancholy.

In The New York Times, Charles Isherwood observed, “A comedy about six Londoners leading lives of quiet desperation, it is rueful, funny, touching and altogether wonderful.”  In The Guardian, Michael Billington noted , “One of his recent best... Ayckbourn has not lost his rare, undervalued gift for comic compassion.”