WE ARE constantly impressed with the way that a theatre group such as Thurrock Courts Players never go for the easy option.
Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘How The Other Half Loves’ is a modern classic comedy. First produced in the early 1970’s it tells the story of three couples, Frank and Fiona, Bob and Teresa and William and Mary. Bob’s affair with Frank’s wife Fiona is in danger of being discovered by their spouses so they devise a plan to project their own infidelity on a rather boring and dull couple, William and Mary – and so the fun begins !
It is crucial that this play is set in the period it was written for, before mobile phones and the internet. The only way to get hold of someone quickly was via the landline phone plugged into the wall – an important factor in this play.
For many, an Alan Ayckbourn play sounds like a walk in the park but it looks and is very difficult to produce and so the first person to be praised must be director Vic Gray and his team who did a first class job.
One of the key technical scenes is the dinner scene, where two of the actors, Tori Grayling and Wayne Prince have a job swivelling between two dinner parties in two places.
Both Wayne and Tori stole the show as the meek and mild couple. They were very very entertaining.
They were very ably assisted by Lisa Chapman, Mike Jones, Karen Reeves and John Scowen (nice shorts!).
They did their best in what was a pretty tired script which had dated very badly over the years. However, the ensemble squeezed out the jokes and have to be applauded for getting over all the technical demands of the play.