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Alan Ayckbourn’s play is about a very ordinary teenager called Lucy. With her father glued to the cowboys on the telly, her mother preoccupied with neighbourly gossip and her brother enclosed in his ear-phones, no one wants to know about her place in the school swimming team. So Lucy revives her childhood fantasy friend, Zara, setting a place for her at the very ordinary tea table. This time Zara materializes, bringing with her an idealized father and brother, and showing Lucy how to make her real family vanish. The moral of this cautionary tale is carefully spelt out – that when you get what you want it’s not what you wanted – as Lucy’s dream family turns out to be a nightmare. The play is supposedly for children of seven upwards, but there’s a message here for parents, too, about listening to kids.
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