Bill Kenwright’s West End production of Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps How The Other Half Loves is moving house. The comedy, which has enjoyed huge public and critical acclaim since it opened in March, will extend its West End run, transferring from the Theatre Royal Haymarket to the Duke of York’s from 7 July – 1 October 2016.
As Bob and Fiona clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Featherstone become hopelessly stuck in the middle, falsely accused of adultery and with no idea as to how they’ve become involved. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time, after which the future of all three couples seems in jeopardy…
Olivier Award nominated star of stage and screen Nicholas Le Prevost will continue to play ‘Frank Foster’ opposite Jenny Seagrove as ‘Fiona Foster’. Jenny starred in Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular in the West End in at the Garrick in 2007, and is best known for her role as ‘QC Jo Mills’ in ITV’s Judge John Deed.
Jason Merrells – one of TV’s most popular actors from roles in Lark Rise to Candleford, Cutting It and Waterloo Road, and recently seen as ‘Juror Number 8’ in Twelve Angry Men, plays ‘Bob Phillips’.
Matthew Cottle, star of BAFTA nominated Game On, and most recently seen in Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business at the National Theatre in 2014, plays ‘William Featherstone’ opposite Gillian Wright as ‘Mary Featherstone’. Gillian is nationally known for her award-winning role as ‘Jean Slater’ in EastEnders.
Joining the cast in the role of ‘Teresa Phillips’ will be Andrea Lowe, best known for playing DS Annie Cabbot in the popular ITV series DCI Banks. She replaces Tamzin Outhwaite.
At turns heart-wrenching and hilarious, Ayckbourn’s tale of social graces and personal misunderstanding remains one of the celebrated writer’s most famous comedies. An extraordinary success on opening in the West End in 1970 at the Lyric Theatre, How The Other Half Loves ran for a staggering 869 performances, delighting critics and audiences alike.
2016 marks Alan Ayckbourn’s 55th year as a theatre director and his 57th as a playwright. To date he has written 80 plays – the latest of which will open at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2016 – and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards.
Major successes include: Relatively Speaking, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests. In the past four years, there have been revivals of Season’s Greetings and A Small Family Business at the National Theatre and in the West End productions of Absent Friends, A Chorus of Disapproval and Relatively Speaking.
In 2009, he retired as artistic director of the Stephen Joseph, where almost all his plays have been and continue to be first staged. In recent years, he has been inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to theatre.
How The Other Half Loves is directed by theatre director and biographer Alan Strachan. Alan has directed plays in New York, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, but the majority of his work has been in London. He was Artistic Director of the Greenwich Theatre in London for over a decade, and has worked with, amongst others, Sir Michael Redgrave, Dame Penelope Keith, Maureen Lipman CBE, Sir Michael Gambon and Sir Alec Guinness. He came to early prominence as the of Alan Ayckbourn’s chosen director, and he has been involved with Ayckbourn’s theatre at Scarborough for many years.