How the Other Loves, a laugh-out-loud farce on in Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 09:53 02 November 2017

Charlie Brooks and Robert Daws in How the Other Half Loves. Picture: Pamela Raith

Charlie Brooks and Robert Daws in How the Other Half Loves. Picture: Pamela Raith

Pamela Raith

There is still time to catch this fantastic Alan Ayckbourn play, starring Robert Daws and Caroline Langrishe, at the Cambridge Arts Theatre.

How the Other Half Loves. Picture: Pamela RaithHow the Other Half Loves. Picture: Pamela Raith

How the Other Half Loves was first performed in 1969. It humourously follows the consequences of an affair between a married man and his boss’s wife and their attempts to cover their tracks by roping in a third couple to be their alibi. The play helped secure Ayckbourn’s runaway success as a playwright.

Following its critically acclaimed West End revival at the Haymarket, this hilarious tale of matrimonial mishaps is currently on a national tour.

As Bob and Fiona clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Featherstone become hopelessly stuck in the middle, falsely accused of adultery and with no idea as to how they’ve become involved.

Robert Daws, fondly remembered by this writer for his portrayal of Hildebrand “Tuppy” Glossop in Jeeves & Wooster, is perfectly cast as the oafish Frank Foster. Caroline Langrishe provides solid support as his long-suffering wife, Fiona, while Charlie Brooks – best known as Janine Butcher in EastEnders, and Leon Ockenden – Will in Coronation Street – are the other ‘main’ couple, Teresa and Bob Phillips.

Matthew Cottle and Sara Crowe are both wonderful as William and Mary Featherstone, particularly Crowe who was born to play comedy – as she demonstrated so memorably in Four Weddings and A Funeral, of course.

Although there were some fairly funny moments as the story played out, it wasn’t until the hilarious dinner party scene, where two consecutive nights were played out at the same time, that I really laughed out loud.

This momentum continued in the second half as the sudden change in William Featherstone had the audience in stitches, as did his subsequent actions in the resulting mass confusion.

I laughed a lot at this play, especially in the second half. You will too.

How the Other Half Loves is on today (Thursday) at 2.30pm and 7.45pm, and then tomorrow and Saturday at 7.45pm.

Tickets: £19/£29/£34/£39*

*All ticket prices include a £3 per-ticket booking fee.

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