"How the Other Half Loves" by Alan Ayckbourn, directed Mike Andrews 22-25 January 2020
Adel Players were very pleased to present this farce which follows the consequences of an adulterous affair between a married man and his boss’s wife and their attempts to cover their tracks by roping in a third couple to be their alibi. Inevitably this results in a chain of misunderstandings, conflicts and revelations. Just the stuff to brighten the dark January nights and we were delighted that well over 500 audience members came to the show. Thanks as always for this tremendous support! As usual production pictures and reviews are posted below as a reminder of all the fun.
Thanks to Mike Andrews and Tony Zigmond for these excellent production stills.
We have been inundated with very kind comments and here is a sample of some of our audience feedback:
“Congratulations to you all. What a brilliant, outstanding, amazing production from all concerned. Every actor played their part to a high standard. We four on the front row enjoyed every minute. The two males in our foursome cried with laughter. We all enjoyed it so much and waited in the bar to be able to congratulate some of you. We all thought that was one of David Pritchard’s best performances. Thank you all so much for a wonderful evening”.
“We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the play last night. It was absolutely brilliant!!! We always enjoy them but we all said last night how outstanding it was. The acting was exceptionally good, especially Mary?!!! It was the best one ever”.
“Thank you very much to the Adel Players for last night’s performance. The feedback I have had since the play has been very positive. The acting was really good and the timing of the actors and comedic effect was brilliant. A few of our members said they had been to professional performances that were not nearly as good as your play last night. We thoroughly enjoyed last night's production. Great performances and many laugh out loud moments”.
“Wow, what can I say that would encompass everything that was brilliant about the play last night? It was very, very funny, superbly acted and would have done the West End proud. We had 5 newcomers in our group and they were astonished at how good our local AmDram were (we had warned them). Definitely one of your best yet. I think you'd have had Alan Ayckbourn himself chuckling had he been there…The set was very clever. How the cast managed to keep straight faces sometimes as the farce unfolded all around them was a feat in itself. All just so well done. Congratulations to everyone involved (I know it's a team effort). Some of us talked after about knowing people similar to some of those portrayed -e.g. Mary Featherstone and Frank especially. Thank you for providing us with such a great evening's entertainment”.
“Another great performance by Adel Players in How the Other Half Loves last night. Fantastic comedy timing from all the cast playing to a packed house. So well cast and beautifully directed by Mike Andrews”.
Our sincere thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to let us know how much you enjoyed this production.
Review of "How the Other Half Loves"
Our thanks to Ann and Donna for this review which will apear in "Adel Bells":
This was a superb production of a much-loved and very funny play, first produced and performed in Scarborough in 1969. Naturally it is “of its time” (and how we all enjoyed the choice of music from the time period, perfectly encapsulating the era), but the many themes within the play still resonate with today’s audience. The comedy is partly drawn from the situation – two couples, one young, one middle-aged – but drawn by not just a work connection, but also by romance - the young husband having an affair with the boss’s wife - “a rich old boot”. To cover their tracks they use the names of a third couple, the Featherstone’s, who unwittingly get drawn into the action. Naturally much comedic confusion arises. But Ayckbourn’s script is so witty and the dialogue so plausible – this play appeals on lots of levels.
It is by all accounts a very difficult play to put on. The dining scene in particular calls for split second, synchronised timing. Naturally, the Adel Playesrs’ production was faultless. The scenery – two separate rooms in separate homes was indicated by different wallpapers, furniture and telephones, of the period, cleverly reflecting the different ages and social status of the couples. The dining table was a brilliant example – the ends, the mahogany wood showing, with sophisticated table-settings – tablemats, glassware and silver. The middle section, the young couple’s table, covered with a cloth, soup bowls and with a central casserole dish containing the soup. As usual, the wardrobe section backed up the distinctions between the couples. The boss’ wife had sleek outfits, and had regular hair appointments. The young mother struggled to fasten her pyjama buttons accurately.
The actors, Dianne Newby & David Pritchard (boss & his wife), Jane Gorton & Bardia Ahmadi (young couple), Pauline Ashworth & Alan Foale (third couple – the Featherstone’s) were totally believable in their roles...excellent acting skills matched by a skilful script. Pauline is new to the Adel audience and Bardia appearing for the third time, but one was not to know by their performances. Bardia was a young, toned and physically handsome husband but mentally rather cruel. He had a superb swagger and often wore a sulky expression. His bored, resentful wife was tied to the home by their demanding baby, Benjamin, unable to cope with shopping, cooking, cleaning and much else. Mary Featherstone was the nervous mousey character - brilliantly played – she had totally believable mannerisms, posture and voice. The other actors are well-known to an Adel audience and all delivered superb performances...each role having its own demanding aspects. I found Alan’s facial expressions so telling and who could not laugh at the wink from the boss’ wife to her young lover at the end of the play?! David played a character who was getting older, and the audience found much in his performance that could be associated with married life and the ageing process.
Special mention must also go to the director, Mike Andrews, who put together a wonderful performance, and the programme highlighted that he had played the young, handsome husband in an Adel production from 1981. I don’t think there was anyone who left the hall without a big smile on their face...a real tonic for a January night.
Ann Lightman and Donna Shoe-Smith Evans