Comic Potential

Ranked #12 on the list Best Books by Alan Ayckbourn

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About Comic Potential

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Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn is a romantic sci-fi comedy. It is set in a TV studio in the foreseeable future, when low-cost androids (known as "actoids") have largely replaced actors. The play was Ayckbourn's second exploration into science fiction, the first being Henceforward... This play originated from the idea that the ability to laugh and the ability to fall in love are both characteristics that differentiate humans from androids - both illogical from an objective viewpoint - raising the question as to whether either of the actions in an android would be considered a malfunction. The comedy also explores the Pygmalion syndrome and competing desires for autonomy and certainty. Idealistic young writer Adam Trainsmith meets Chandler Tate, a former director of classic comedies, who makes a living by directing a never-ending soap opera. The leading-role android makes a series of mistakes. Supporting role android JC-F31-333, spots his lapses and laughs. Later on, while Adam is watching old slapstick comedy, JC-F31-333 laughs again. She is afraid that the sense of humour is a production fault. Adam sees it as an advantage. He nicknames his favourite android Jacie and persuades

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