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How The Other Half Loves
September 25th - September 30th
Directed by Alan Strachan
Following its critically acclaimed West End revival at the Haymarket, Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious tale of matrimonial mishaps and London’s funniest comedy of 2016 embarks on a national tour.
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…
The star cast includes leading stage and TV actor ROBERT DAWS, best known for the hit series’ The Royal, Outside Edge and Roger Roger opposite CAROLINE LANGRISHE who starred in Lovejoy, Holby City and Judge John Deed, MATTHEW COTTLE from the Bafta-nominated Game On who transfers direct from the West End production and SARA CROWE, whose West End credits include Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular and The Constant Wife but perhaps is best known for her role in the popular film Four Weddings and a Funeral. CHARLIE BROOKS who starred in the popular British television shows The Bill, Bleak House and Wired but is perhaps best known for her role as Janine Butcher in Eastenders stars alongside LEON OCKENDEN, who currently plays Will in long-running soap; Coronation Street.
★★★★ “TIMELESS GENIUS… IT DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS” Daily Telegraph
★★★★ “INGENIOUS… MARVELLOUS… VERY FUNNY” Financial Times
★★★★ “ONE OF THE FUNNIEST SHOWS… COMEDY GOLD” The Times
Price includes a £1 contribution to our heritage fund.
Great timing, fast moving, hilarious throughout.
Very funny, clever and brilliantly performed. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to see it again.
It’s an all-star cast at Malvern Theatres this week as Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy ‘How the other half loves’ hits town after a recent West End revival.
In a comedy which came out following the success of his first hit play 'Relatively Speaking', three different couples vie for attention on a set which is quite different from what you might expect. Instead of a clear separation of the different rooms in which the comedy plays out, here they are sharing the same space, with different-coloured sofas for each pair with the cast often passing each other on stage moving around their respective ‘homes’. It sounds complicated but it is well choreographed and flows smoothly – it also means the cast have to be on their toes , especially in one table scene where one couple is addressing each of the other two couples in turn, leading to one of the funniest – and wettest - sequences in the show.
Robert Daws and Caroline Langrishe play the Fosters, Charlie Brooks and Leon Ockenden are the Phillips couple and Matthew Cottle and Sarah Crowe play the Featherstones, each couple as different from each other as chalk from cheese.
Set in 1969, Frank Foster employs both Bob Phillips and William Featherstone. There are, however, complications- as you would expect. Bob is having an affair with Frank’s wife Fiona even though he has just had a baby with wife Teresa, who now feels he is neglecting her and she is suspicious of his actions and phantom phone-calls made to the house.
Whilst their relationship is on the brink of breaking down, Frank and Fiona’s relationship is in stark contrast, polite, distant and evasive with her managing to evade the truth about her infidelity. William and Mary meanwhile are innocent - even naïve - parties and neither of the adulterers realise they have both implicated the Featherstones in their alibis.
Daws is hilarious as the dithering not-quite-knowing-what’s-going-on and saying-the-wrong-thing husband clumsily trying to sort things out in a part that could have been written for him whilst Cottle is equally convincing as a guy who easily gets embroiled in situations beyond his control and inevitably coming off worse as a result with Crowe as his somewhat downtrodden wife who ends up doing the chores.
For those who enjoy stage farces and misunderstandings leading to comic situations, this is really enjoyable to watch without it relying on the ludicrous situations which farces often use. Even if, at the end, there is still one unexplained mystery...
Saw this play on Wednesday matinee..absolutely loved it. The cast were all brilliant especially Robert Daws who played the part of Frank. Sara Crowe was excellent as Mary, and Mathew Cottle brilliant as William but to be honest the cast were all superb. The play itself is nearly 50 years old but it has lost nothing in those years....would definitely go to see it again