Swan Theatre Main Stage (1990)
by Alan Ayckbourn
Worcester Evening News Review 9th – May 1990 – “How the Other Half Loves” – Alan Ayckbourn –Swan Theatre, WorcesterPlayers please with Ayckbourn classic
The worms keep turning in “How the Other Half Loves”, the hilarious Alan Ayckbourn comedy being staged this week at Worcester’s Swan Theatre.
It has been a while since this play, one of the great man’s greatest, has been performed locally. St John’s Players have updated the references but its twists and knot-tying continually catch you off-guard.
At one point last night the audience reacted as if it were a thriller. Clever stuff.
Rosemary Phillips’ production is blessed with some lovely performances, as Frank and Fiona and Bob and Teresa lay on their separate dinner parties for the Featherstones.
Early scenes are cemented by Patricia Norris’ failure of a wife, while Keith Stanley is the ineffectual toy-boy of Ann Smith’s classy Fiona. Ray Archer’s Frank – overweight and scatty – displays his usual comic persona.
The real delights are Trevor King as William Featherstone (all the men must be civil servants) and Julie Sadler as his mouse-like wife, whether suffering a bout of hiccups or ignoring the gentile niceties.
On the opening night’s evidence the evening needs faster cueing, the double-set is perhaps too wide in any case. But the elements are all there. Ayckbourn’s mastery is unchallenged. “How the Other Half Loves” runs until Saturday.
Advertiser and Messenger 17th May 1990 – “How the Other Half Loves” – Alan Ayckbourn –Swan Theatre, WorcesterAmateurs shine in comic hit
There’s many a tangled knot woven to deceive in Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious comedy “How the Other Half Loves”.
It was more than adequately performed by Worcester’s talented amateur troupe the St John’s Players at the Swan Theatre.
Action revolves around three couples all linked by their husband’s careers.
Frank and Fiona Foster, the oldest couple, the constantly feuding middle two, and the third, he a Do It Yourselfer, she a shrew-like wallflower.
The action takes place in one double set which serves as all two of the couples dining cum living rooms.
The plot lies in the confusion built up by trying to sort out who is having an affair with whom. Ray Archer’s rather eccentric Frank Foster comes over a treat, while his wife Fiona keeps her secrets to herself.
Pat Norris as the untidy slobbish Terry Phillips puts in a lot of hard work as does Keith Stanley, as her romeo husband Bob.
The unwitting Featherstones caught up in the middle of all this, were for my money the stars of the show. Julie Sadler does well as the socially inept wife and Trevor King’s portrayal of her husband William was one of the highlights of a thoroughly enjoyable night.