How the other half lives, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham
Alan Ayckbourn’s expertise and ingenuity at staging parallel scenes simultanteously is never better seen than in this 1969 masterpiece which moved triumphantly from Scarborough to London and Broadway.
The Lytham Anonymous Players are right on the money here, with first class acting, complete audibility throughout and clear direction of potentially confusing scenes by Heather Cartmell.
It is very much an ensemble piece as three very different married couples become in turn more and more confused about and who may or may not be having an affair. Jeff Redfern does bumbling especially well, Kieran O’Doherty specialises in being obsequious, Andy Cook, Kirsten Burnett and Ann Slack all seize their moment.
Emily Cartmell’s character develops most markedly during the four scenes and her early hesitant tapping of her glasses, shrinking shoulders and magnificent mousiness changed splendidly to almost assertiveness in the finale. A fine performance.
The genius of Ayckbourn makes this a very funny play both by means of the constant and ridiculous misunderstandings and by some very witty lines and clever word plays. The experienced cast duly deliver the material with easy and accomplished skills which royally entertained a large opening night audience.