john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,

How the Other Half Loves

is a play by Alan Ayckbourn which I read today. Wow. The man is a technical genius. This play has an incredible "stunt" to it, consisting of two living rooms interspersed on one set, which is wild enough, but the wildest is a scene where you are simultaneously watching Thursday's dinner party on one side of the set, and Friday's dinner party on the other side, with one couple being present at both parties. It was dizzying to read. I would love to see it performed sometime.

It has some strongly farcical elements to it. The basic plot centers on the attempt to cover up an affair. But there are some non-farcical elements to it as well. There is a fine scene where a rather put-upon young woman finally stands up to her know-it-all husband.

I'm a bit reluctant to call it Romantic Comedy, because there was something a bit anti-romantic about it. No one really seems to be in love, or even very infatuated, which for me takes that romantic glow off the script. Ayckbourn's work is often called dark comedy, precisely because he has a somewhat bleak outlook on things. But what a craftsman!

Rhyme for the day:

The action was frantic
But not quite Romantic.

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