Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Review: How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

How the Other Half Loves
Theatre Royal Haymarket
Reviewed on Friday 1st March 2016

Nothing beats a good Alan Ayckbourn play; marking its return to the West End, How the Other Half Loves provides several hours of fun, fluffy escapism. 

Revolving around three work colleagues and their wives, the piece sees two characters having an affair; lies are told and fingers are pointed, but never quite at the right person...

Ayckbourn's plays often have a clever gimmick; when How the Other Half Loves begins you think you're peering into one living room, but soon realise the piece is set in two living rooms with clever cross/split screen staging which works a treat.

With the feel of an old school sitcom, there's confusion and eccentricity, but at the core of this piece is humanity. Ayckbourn writes incredible characters you can't help but grow fond of. Whilst being incredibly funny and lighthearted, How the Other Half Loves also touches on love, happiness and honesty - in amongst the madness it contains a couple of thought-provoking moments as things draw to a close.

The cast of terrific comedy actors all have an absolute field day. For me the stars of the show are Gillian Wright as socially awkward Mary Featherstone who finds herself outside her comfort zone and Nicholas Le Prevost as blabbering Frank Foster who attempts to take control of things; both prove themselves as comical masterminds. 

It's also thrilling to see Tamzin Outhwaite back onstage, she shares brilliant chemistry with Jason Merrells whilst Jenny Seagrove and Matthew Cottle are also superb. If you need a fun night out, look no further than Alan Strachan's harmless production of Ayckbourn's splendid play.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

How the Other Half Loves runs at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 25th June 2016.
Please visit www.trh.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

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