Two into one do go for Ayckbourn challenge
THEY say that when you retire, you should keep your mind active. That’s certainly the challenge taken up by Mike Yates, the director of our next production, Alan Aykbourn’s classic comedy, How The Other Half Loves.
His cast occupy just one stage, representing two houses.
So far, so simple but add Ayckbourn’s fertile mind and we find that both houses occupy the entire stage, with no divide.
We then see all that goes on in both houses simultaneously, so that we may have four people on stage but each of them is in his/her own home and therefore able to see only his/her own spouse, despite the presence of two other actors!
Mike said that setting the actors moves, of which there are very many, known in the theatre as blocking, is always the first task.
When we started rehearsals the cast coped magnificently with this very demanding process, accompanied by cries of “you can’t sit there, that chair doesn’t exist in your house!””
The dinner party scene is the most iconic part of the show, however it features not one dinner party, but two taking place simultaneously, from the audience point of view.
Two characters are in one house, yesterday, two in a different house today and two in both houses on each day.
No wonder one of the cast said: “I don’t know what day it is” at the end of one rehearsal!
If that sounds confusing, just imagine what it’s like for Mike and his performers trying to navigate the action round the Little Theatre stage.
Thankfully we’re in incredibly safe hands.
It will all make perfectly hilarious sense when it opens in a fortnight’s time; a real treat to look forward to in the gloomy post-festive January days.
A quick note for anyone interested in auditioning for Jesus Christ Superstar, to be performed by Maghull MTC at the Little Theatre this June.
The first rehearsal, to learn audition pieces, is tonight (January 8) from 8.15pm and auditions will take place on Sunday January 20.
Rehearsals take place at St Andrews Church Hall in Maghull – at 22 Damfield Lane, L31 6DD.
Ring Betty or Graham Hall on 01695 632372 for more details.
How The Other Half Loves opens on Friday, January 25 until Saturday, February 2.
Contact the box office on 01704 530521/530460 for tickets and more details.
Mike Yates, right, directs How The Other Half Loves, inset