How The Other Half Loves: 10th May 1990

Ayckbourne’s comedy set in two living rooms. This play had two scenes – from different nights – going on at the same time! Confused? well, it all made sense thanks to Ayckbourne’s brilliant writing.

I remember rehearsing for this play in The Roses Theatre in the winter. We were not charged for the hire of the theatre for rehearsals in those days, but we would have had to pay if we switched on the heating. It was winter and it was extremely cold in the theatre. We also had three people called Pat involved in this production and every time someone shouted Pat we wondered which one.

Megan Russell as Mary Featherstone

NODA full adjudication:
My first visit to a Society new to NODA but with a long tradition of drama. First impressions mean a lot and help create “atmosphere”. I prefer to be treated as an ordinary member of the public and I have no complaints. The FOH were polite efficient and friendly. It is a very important with a play of this nature to have the audience come in on an open stage. I was able to assimilate and understand the set before the action started.

The set design had been kept to a minimum. No more flats than were absolutely necessary, likewise the furniture, very well thought out. Everything on stage was used. The dressing was in character but I have reservations about the phones. The time was the present, push button phones have been around for a long time and where was the architrave around the doors? By the time the action started I had pushed all these thoughts to the back of my mind and WAR, ready to be entertained.
A nice simple story line, complicated by the quirks of human nature. For whatever reasons boy has a fling with his boss’s wife. Boss’s wife requires some excitement in her humdrum gadget filled life. Then human nature takes over. Good humour that everyone can relate to. Everyone knows a “Frank” or a “Bob” or a “William” By the same token I know a “Fiona” a “Terry” and a “Mary”. Very well cast. Very good characterisations. “Frank” was exasperating, my wife felt like hitting him.
The pace could have been better, no doubt by the end of the week it will be. That is why it is so hard to sell mid-week.

The furniture and properties were good, The make-up acceptable, though a little underdone.
The lighting was acceptable, perhaps it could have been different during Scene 2, Act 1 but the way it was set it would have been hard to black-out one room from the other. Then again, half the fun was going from one to the other. The costumes were acceptable. Ayckbourn is not to everybody’s taste, this is one of his least dated ones and has sufficient challenge to make it a very worthwhile play to put on. I was happy and look forward to further visits.

A very good characterisation, the occasional tenancy to mumble with his back to the audience, that is when more volume is required, or had he forgotten his lines?
Very good stage presence and good business – good face.

A good characterisation. No change of make-up during the day
or the occasion. Believable – good expressions and good stage presence.

An acceptable portrayal. Needs to change his voice with his moods and needs to get into the character more.

After a quiet start, developed well.
Got into the character. Good change of moods. Good stage presence.

Good. I’ll say no more – faultless.

A good characterisation, Voice a bit hard at times. Believable. Learn to relax and let your natural body movements take over.

Pat obviously knew what she wanted and I think she got it. Some of the characters could easily have gone over the top. Good control. Well done.