The Chalk Garden is visually stunning to look at and has some extremely impressive performances from a talented and very well-rehearsed cast.
In my humble opinion, the ultimate specialist in farce is Alan Ayckbourn and nowhere is my point more finely demonstrated than in How The Other Half Loves. A classic, fast-paced, quick-humour-packed bundle of confusion and chaos which it could be so easy to lose the thread of if it’s not directed and performed on point.
After its extended West End season, Alan Strachan’s revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves launches on tour with a cast including Robert Daws, Caroline Langrishe and Charlie Brooks.
Sharp and comic timing is needed to really make this Alan Ayckbourn play really work – thankfully, the cast keep things moving with great pace and energy.
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.
Written before he had become one of the nation’s most prolific playwrights, yet as ever focusing upon his hallmark theme of domestic dysfunctionality, How The Other Half Loves is Alan Ayckbourn’s 1969 effort, viewed through the prism of well-performed comedy.
We’re back in the 1960’s, and how! Beyond the jolly geometric curtain a bygone world revives. Shiny pink plastic boots, a ridiculous frilled sub-Laura-Ashley print dinner frock. Nicholas le Prevost doing breathless “Swedish jerks” before setting out for work with bowler and brolly, and coming home to prod suspiciously at an avocado pear, while entertaining a shy colleague for the sake of old-fashioned departmental teamwork.
Post-show Q&A: What’s the essence of good comedy? And what marks out an Alan Ayckbourn comedy in particular? What does the UK’s most prolific, produced playwright (80 plays and counting) demand of actors and directors? And, despite the (often onerous, occasionally near-impossible) demands, why do actors and directors relish coming back for more?