Season's Greetings: Characters

Within the Ayckbourn Archive, there are Alan Ayckbourn's handwritten notes regarding his initial thoughts on each of the characters. These are reproduced below.

Neville Bunker (late 30s)
Inherited Dad's (Raymond) electrical business which he's expanded.

Belinda Bunker (née Hopkins), his wife (aged 32)
Knocked around a bit. Been married 7 years. Worked in an antiques shop before parents had a farm (still have). They [Neville and Belinda] have two children
Lydia (6) and Katy (4).

Rachel Hopkins (35)
Belinda's sister. Works as a picture researcher. She is also secretary of her local writers' circle where she met guest of honour:

Clive Morris (30)
An author of one book - written as an autobiography he finds himself the author of a vogue-ish comic hit (although he never intended it as such). He broke up with his wife and wrote really as a therapy. He has on son that he never sees aged 7 (Wife's name is
Celia). Trained as a surveyor.

Phyllis Longstaff (née Bunker), his wife (late 30s)
Neville's slightly younger sister. She gave up a very good job with the Arts Council to marry Bernard and hopefully a life of luxury on as an eminent surgeon's wife. Bernard though has disappointed her.

Dr Bernard Longstaff (40s)
An amiable but ineffectual man whose heart is no longer in medicine although his practise ticks along. He's vague, usually wrong and adores children - which they never had. His role over the Christmas period is to organise the kids' entertainment most especially the puppet show.

Eddie Grundy (35)
Neville's [business] partner. Brought in by Neville to run the photographic side. Was a photographer on the local rag [newspaper] then went freelance. Still does the odd wedding. Has connections. Bit of a cut beneath Neville but obviously a bright lad to have around. Was in 'show-biz' briefly. Still reads The Stage. Married to:

Phyllis (30)
Who has borne all three-and-a-half of his children and is a pale jaded shadow as a result. Eddie exhausts her and the fight is going out of her. They have
Flora (7), Gary (6) and Zoe (4) and another on the way. She is expecting in February.

Harvey Bunker (mid 50s)
Uncle Harvey. He is Neville's late father's (Raymond's) younger brother. Spent a lot of his early life in the army. Now runs a small security firm. Rather mad. Strong believer that the fabric of civilisation is tearing slowly but surely. Personal combat man. Knife in his sock. Gun upstairs.

Shirley Bunker (50s)
Harvey's wife. Never seen. A shy woman with ill health who loathes children and Christmas (and one suspects Harvey). They have a child only he has grown up and emigrated.

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