Classic farce set to return

SIR Alan Ayckbourn returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre this summer to direct his classic farce, How The Other Half Loves, for the first time since its premiere 40 years ago.

The Evening News was invited to a sneak preview of the play while the stars of the show were in rehearsal.

The comedy centres around three couples, at different stages in the career hierarchy. One of each of the older couples are having an affair with the other, and so the story unravels....

How The Other Half Loves premiered at the Library Theatre in Scarborough in 1969. It is one of Alan Ayckbourn's most famous plays and features the infamous dinner party scene in which two dinner parties on two nights take place simultaneously on stage.

Anna Lowe and Ian McLarnon play the "innocent" younger couple of the group.

Anna said: "The story is about the innocent younger couple who go to the dinner parties on separate events. And they end up in farcical situations. Ian and Anna's characters end up the butt of the joke."

She said rehearsals were going well and added: "Parts can be quite tricky. A lot of the comedy comes from the situation, timing and props."

The production stars: Robert Austin (A Trip to Scarborough, SJT), Theo Cross, Marilyn Cutts, Rosie Jenkins, Anna Lowe and Ian McLarnon (Awaking Beauty, SJT).

* Don't miss the Evening News next week for an exclusive interview with the production's Anna Lowe and Ian McLarnon.