‘Sure Thing’ is a comical play by David Ives that has two characters, Bill and Betty. The setting is in a café where Bill approaches Betty and initiates a conversation. The two characters have many dating problems. Bill tries many tactics in order to impress Betty, until he finally succeeds.
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The characters engage in a dialogue about various issues. A bell rings and they start the conversation all over again, but with different responses. However, the author does not adhere to all the conventional expectations of plays. This response aims at highlighting the extent to which the author deviates from the principles of writing plays.
The plot is unusual as the author uses a sequence of interchanging situations. The characters engage in different dialogue but in the same situation to come up with a different outcome each time. These scenarios are distinguished by the ringing of a bell between them. The characters are only two and they don’t change the setting. They remain in the cafe throughout the play. The play evoked emotions of sympathy for Bill who unsuccessfully tries several times to get Betty to like him.
Betty is rude and cold towards him, for instance, when she says ‘I just wanted to read in quiet, if you don’t mind’. (Ives par 5).The statement ‘Amazing how you can live right next door to somebody in this town and never even know it’ is made by Billy to Betty. This statement is enlightening as it reminds us about how we relate with our neighbors in our daily lives.
People living in towns are very engrossed in their businesses and forget important things like forging friendships with neighbors. It challenges us to maintain good social relationships with our neighbors. (Ives par 16).The decision that Betty makes to accept and love Billy is relieving to the audience as he has gone through a lot of trouble trying to impress her. In this play, I identify with Bill because he is nervous and ends up saying the wrong things as he tries to impress Betty.
For instance, he confuses ‘the Sound and the Fury to be Hemingway’s work instead of Faulkner’s. (Ives par 6).This play presents situations that happen in everyday dating life. As I went through the play, I had the impression that Betty was a cold, rude, and snobbish girl. But as I proceeded on, I realized that she is humorous, lively and sociable, as she opens up to Billy and the two engage in a very vivacious dialogue.
The play ‘Variations on the Death of Trotsky’ is very similar to ‘Sure Thing’ because it uses the same plot of changing the goings-on in the same situation. In ‘Variations on the Death of Trotsky’, David Ives presents eight different scenarios depicting different last moments of Trotsky’s life. There is also the use of bells between the scenes. The two plays are also very humorous. This kind of plot is very effective for comical plays.
The Play ‘Sure Thing’ is absolutely hilarious and informative as it portrays the normal things that people go through in life in a comical way. The ringing of the bell takes the characters back in time so that they can begin the conversation afresh and correct the statements that they had made previously. The audience is entertained as they are taken through a world of fantasy where people can be given a second chance to rearticulate their statements.
Ives, David. “Sure Thing.” Youtube, 1988. 4 Nov. 2011. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XliV9M7-If4>