I got the pleasure of seeing the cast of How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn the other night. Accompanied by my partner Sam and his friend Ollie, we made our way over to the Duke of York theatre where the production is currently taking place.
Alan Ayckbourn’s career spans right back to 1969 when Relatively Speaking made a break-through on the very same stage as the one we saw the other night. How The Other Half Loves is a typical British farce, creating confusion and hysterics for the characters involved, whilst sending us, the audience, into fits of laughter. The set is two households that have been jigsawed together into one stage. Even though those who inhabit them are poles apart in wealth, they are linked to each other through a sordid, secret love affair. It has elements similar to that of Noises Off by Michael Frayn, with conversations being misunderstood and punches being thrown left, right and center!
The timing of the performers are spot on and most of them produced some comedy gold. There was one performer (who I won’t name) that really let the cast down. They seemed to be speaking the lines rather than actually acting them out. A poor performance that I think should be recast. The set was fabulous and the quick change of scenery was done very efficiently. Ayckbourn’s writing is something I’m familiar with after co-directing Life of Riley back at university in Aberystwyth. He’s a social writer which I think is what grips his audience so well because he’ll take topics that appear to be heavy and makes them light and humorous. Even though the overall theme of HTOHL is an affair between two household members, he covers it up with hilarity and confusion. He’s the perfect writer to help the reader escape from their lives to watch Ayckbourn’s characters live out their own.
If you’d like to go see the production, it’s on in London till the 1st October so make sure you check out the tickets here. Prices range from £17.25–£67.25.
The cast includes Nicholas Le Prevost, Jenny Seagrove, Jason Merrells, Gillian Wright, Matthew Cottle and Andrea Lowe.
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