KELLY McFadden peeks through the net curtains and into a world of adultery, love and laughter in her review of 'How The Other Half Loves' - now showing at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven.

Everyone likes to know what goes on behind closed doors in your average household and ‘How The Other Half Loves’ - billed as an ‘Ayckbourn classic and his first to be a hit on Broadway’ - does not disappoint.

When entering the theatre you can see that the set including the lighting as usual at the Torch Theatre is top notch but to see how it is works within this particular play is extremely clever.

The stage is split in two - simultaneously showing the dining room and lounge of the Foster’s and the Phillips’ homes - and it is surprising how well this clever use of space provides a believable backdrop for the fast-paced plot.

When Fiona Foster (Laura Penneycard) and her husband Frank Foster (Simon Stanhope) enter the stage, you immediately get a feel for their characters and whilst they are still on the set Teresa Phillips (Joanna Simkins) and Bob Phillips (Liam Mansfield) arrive. The characters quickly paint a picture of what life is like within the two homes and how their lives cross over.

When Mary (Francesca Goodridge) and William Featherstone (Rhys Warrinton) arrive, the play changes tack and the interaction between these two characters is as hilarious as their costumes.

The actors only use their part of the set throughout the play, so for example they have their own front doors, their own dining tables and settee’s that has one half which is clean and new, whereas the other is shabby and old looking.

One hilarious scene, which is simultaneously played out on stage is when the Foster’s have a dinner party inviting the Featherstone’s on a Thursday evening and the Phillip’s again inviting the Featherstone’s to a dinner party the Friday evening. It is so simple, if complicated, yet extremely cleverly done.

I would thoroughly recommend the play to anyone who fancies an evening or even a matinee performance full of fun and laughter.


How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Peter Doran, at the Torch Theatre until Saturday October 25.

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