Two into one do go for Ay­ck­bourn chal­lenge

Midweek Visiter - - Life At The Little Theatre, Southport -

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

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