Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, “How The Other Half Loves” leaves audiences in stitches. Aykbourn enthralls with his clever use of space and time as he intertwines the lives of two very different couples – a perfectly posh upper-class older one and a messy middle-class younger one – on the same stage!
As Bob Phillips and Fiona Foster clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Detweiler – the third couple - find themselves in the middle of the mayhem when they are falsely accused of adultery - with no idea as to how they’ve become involved! The fact that all three of the men work at the same company – in the same department adds to the fun. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time – on the same stage - after which the future of all three couples is definitely in question!
The fast pace and physical humor of this piece makes this one of Ayckbourn’s funniest and most exciting plays to experience. The play is set in 1969 which allows for plenty of comic routines around landline telephones, distinct class structures and changing sexual mores. The play originally opened in London in 1970 to rave reviews and ran for over 850 performances – it also opened on Broadway in 1971.
Scenes From "How The Other Half Loves"