‘HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES’
by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Brian Young
13th – 17th May at 7.30 pm
‘How The Other Half Loves’ follows three married couples whose lives are hopelessly entwined. Frank employs Bob and William and is considering William for promotion. Bob is having an affair with the boss’s (Frank’s) wife and argues constantly with his own wife, Teresa. Frank and Fiona’s marriage by contrast is polite and distant. Mary thinks (incorrectly) that William, her husband, is having an affair. The plot thickens when each of the adulterous parties, plays host to William and Mary at dinner parties on successive nights, both of which dinners end in disaster. As relations between partners deteriorate,matters become more confused and only the truth can restore order to chaos.
Ayckbourn was largely inspired by circumstance when it came to writing the play. At the time he was living in a council flat in Leeds, one of many identical flats. The inter-changeability of the rooms, differentiated only by their furnishings would play an obvious role in the play as he explored the use of space and time on stage. Other influences in shaping the play, according to Alan, were: “being drawn into the comet’s tail of somebody else’s breaking marriage” and a desire to “write a play which highlighted different and contrasting social lifestyles.” The play premiered in 1969 at the Library Theatre, Scarborough to positive reviews.