Theatre Review: How The Other Half Loves

Written in the early Seventies and set in the late Sixties, Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves made us laugh at ourselves and our social (or lack of them) mores.

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Presented by Galleon Theatre Group
Reviewed 25 October 2018

Ah, the late Sixties/early Seventies! A time when , although the words ‘political’ and ‘correctness’ existed, they were never seen together, hand in hand, out in public. Written in the early Seventies and set in the late Sixties, Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves made us laugh at ourselves and our social (or lack of them) mores. If not set in that period, today we would cringe at such things as chauvinism – but Director Warren McKenzie puts us firmly in that earlier period and keeps us there for a laugh-out-loud, fun night out.

The play uses the ‘un’conventional theatrical device of setting the story in two houses, of differing income scales, at the same time on the one set. And as if that wasn’t difficult enough a challenge to overcome, a dinner party is held on two consecutive nights at the two different houses, BUT with one of the couples attending both! Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But listen closely to the conversations and watch the movements of the young couple and you’ll know precisely when and where you are at any given moment. McKenzie has rehearsed and polished his cast extremely well in his clever and choreographed ‘blocking’, making them a highly finely tuned ensemble.

Andrew Clark is impeccable and impressive, as always, as the dithering, conversation meandering Frank Foster. His non-sequitur dialogue is delivered with a wonderful comedic thoughtlessness. As his wife, Fiona, Joanne St Clair is beautifully classy and delivers the humour with dignity.

Andy Steuart is perfect as the male chauvinist you love to hate, with Leanne Robinson giving shrewness and screechiness a wonderful style of their own. The third couple are portrayed well by Aled Proeve and Brittany Daw. Proeve, usually seen in musicals, takes to a non-musical role with confidence, being the ultimate ‘nerd’ with a slightly dark side, whilst Daw is delightfully shy and ‘mousey’. No slap on the hand for her performance.

The Sixties atmosphere is maintained well in all aspects: Daw’s clever set (where did she get that marvellously horrendous 60s wallpaper?); the ladies’ hair styles by Anne-Louise Smith; the great costumes by Trisha Graham and Vi Rowe; and even some wonderful 60s British television sit-com themes to set the scene perfectly.

Yet another excellent production from a group known for their high quality productions.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

Venue: Domain Theatre, Marion Cultural Centre
Season: Until 27 October 2018
Duration: 2 hours 30 mins including Interval
Tickets: $20 – $24
Bookings: Three convenient options:
INTERNET – to pay by card – Go to ONLINE BOOKINGS
E-MAIL – leave a message at [email protected]
PHONE – telephone Galleon’s Booking Officer (Joy or Allan) on 0437-609-577
Cabaret & Conventiona bleacher seating available.
If you require Cabaret Seating please request when booking.
Also please mention if you have a wheelchair.

 

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