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1 Hawthorne Drama- Plays

House & Garden: Two Plays

by

House & Garden: Two Plays Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Two dazzling new interconnected plays from the acclaimed author of Communicating Doors.

Two plays — designed to be performed simultaneously and involving the same characters — set in the same English country house on the same cloudy August day, are Alan Ayckbourn's vehicle for a sharp and hilarious scrutiny of the destructive nature of human behavior and emotions. Friends, neighbors, and hired help are gathered in preparation for a garden fête at which the guest of honor, for reasons of which no one is entirely certain, is an alcoholic, promiscuous French movie star. The surly gardener steadily ignores various intrigues being rather noisily conducted in the bushes and garden sheds, the film star's agent is mistakenly assumed to be a chauffeur and is sent to the pub for her lunch, the dog does his share of alerting passersby to covert romantic liaisons, the kitchen maid breaks everything she touches, and an amoral London writer observes the goings-on with a cool and knowing eye. As the action, and the storm clouds, build toward the afternoon's deluge, politics, friship, marriage, sex, children, the interactions of the social classes, and the absurd anachronisms of the remaining landed gentry are all submitted to Ayckbourn's penetrating gaze.

Born in London in 1939, Alan Ayckbourn is the author of over fifty plays, which have been translated into some thirty different languages. Ayckbourn's plays have been presented, on stage and on television, throughout the worldand have received many British and international awards. In 1997, he became the first playwright knighted since Terence Rattigan. Ayckbourn lives in London.

Two playsdesigned to be performed simultaneously and involving the same charactersset in the same English country house on the same cloudy August day, are Alan Ayckbourn's vehicle for a sharp and hilarious scrutiny of the destructive nature of human behavior and emotions. Friends, neighbors, and hired help are gathered in preparation for a garden fête at which the guest of honor, for reasons of which no one is entirely certain, is an alcoholic, promiscuous French movie star. The surly gardener steadily ignores various intrigues being rather noisily conducted in the bushes and garden sheds, the film star's agent is mistakenly assumed to be a chauffeur and is sent to the pub for her lunch, the dog does his share of alerting passersby to covert romantic liaisons, the kitchen maid breaks everything she touches, and an amoral London writer observes the goings-on with a cool and knowing eye. As the action, and the storm clouds, build toward the afternoon's deluge, politics, friendship, marriage, sex, children, the interactions of the social classes, and the absurd anachronisms of the remaining landed gentry are all submitted to Ayckbourn's penetrating gaze.

"An audacious, crazy, altogether brilliant achievement."Richard Zoglin, Time

"House and Garden [together] constitute as ingeniously constructed a work as the contemporary theater offers."Bruce Weber, The New York Times

"What in lesser hands might be mere gimmickry becomes, in [Ayckbourn's], genius. That word is usually invoked posthumously, but why begrudge it to a living artist who time and again has given us so much pleasure and pabulum . . . Do not assume, however, that this is merely a cute tour de force; it is, aside from much laugh-out-loud fun, also a serious demonstration of the idea that what happens to people in contiguous but separated places gravely affects, perhaps even radically changes, their tragicomical lives."John Simon, New York

"Seen together, [House and Garden] offer an extraordinary comic-melancholic vision of married life in which women end up as resilient victims. House, in particular, is one of Ayckbourn's best playsa study in domestic disintegration in which much of the key action happens offstage . . . The matter of the plays is deeply serious: nothing less than modern morality. But Ayckbourn's treatment is wildly comic . . . These superb plays prove that nobody has a sharper eye than Ayckbourn for the quotidian cruelties of English life."Michael Billington, The Guardian

"[A] comical double whammy . . . Ayckbourn is asking searching questions about selfishness and decency, about families' failures to communicate, and about the courage it takes to quit failing partnerships."Kate Bassett, The Independent

"House alone is in many ways one of [Hare's] best plays, a brilliant retread of all those country-house-party comedies of the 1950s by Hugh Williams or William Douglas Home."Sheridan Morley, The Spectator

"Ayckbourn's ingenuity would be mere show if it didn't come with shrewd, funny observation. And I'm glad to report that [both of these] plays combine wry humour with a bit of bite."Benedict Nightingale, The Times

"Ayckbourn is up to his ingenious tricks again. The man who has given us plays with multiple alternative endings, life-size boats that really float on stage, and a married couple attending two different dinner parties at the same time has come up with another example of stage wizardry. The amazing dexterity of House & Garden is that the two plays take place in different auditoria simultaneously with the same large cast appearing in both of them . . . These are plays about love and marriage, and there are times when Ayckbourn makes Strindberg look like a jaunty optimist . . . Like all Ayckbourn's best work, House & Garden combines ingenuity, deep feeling and delighted laughter."The Daily Telegraph

"Look here, is there no end to the man's brilliant ingenuity? Has there, or will there ever be again, a career in the theatre like Sir Alan Ayckbourn's? Jokes? En masse . . . The point is that in Ayckbournland, the suburban veneer is suddenly put under severe dramatic pressure and the flood gates open. Crisis follows crisis . . . A joy."The Daily Mail

Synopsis:

Two plays about love and marriage take place in different auditoria simultaneously with the same large cast appearing in both of them. As always in Ayckbourn, hilarity is combined with hurt.

Synopsis:

Two dazzling new interconnected plays from the acclaimed author of Communicating Doors.

Two plays — designed to be performed simultaneously and involving the same characters — set in the same English country house on the same cloudy August day, are Alan Ayckbourn's vehicle for a sharp and hilarious scrutiny of the destructive nature of human behavior and emotions. Friends, neighbors, and hired help are gathered in preparation for a garden fête at which the guest of honor, for reasons of which no one is entirely certain, is an alcoholic, promiscuous French movie star. The surly gardener steadily ignores various intrigues being rather noisily conducted in the bushes and garden sheds, the film star's agent is mistakenly assumed to be a chauffeur and is sent to the pub for her lunch, the dog does his share of alerting passersby to covert romantic liaisons, the kitchen maid breaks everything she touches, and an amoral London writer observes the goings-on with a cool and knowing eye. As the action, and the storm clouds, build toward the afternoon's deluge, politics, friship, marriage, sex, children, the interactions of the social classes, and the absurd anachronisms of the remaining landed gentry are all submitted to Ayckbourn's penetrating gaze.

About the Author

Born in London in 1939, Alan Ayckbourn spent most of his childhood in Sussex and was educated at Haileybury. Leaving there one Friday at the age of seventeen, he went into the theatre the following Monday and has been working in it ever since as, variously, a stage manager, sound technician, scene painter, prop-maker, actor, writer and director. These last two talents he developed thanks to his mentor, Stephen Joseph, whom he first met in 1958 upon joining his newly formed Studio Theatre Company in Scarborough. A BBC Radio Drama Producer from 1965 to 1970, upon the death of Stephen Joseph, he returned to Scarborough to become the company's Artistic Director. He holds the post to this day, though the theatre is now named after its founder. He is the author of over fifty plays, most of which received their first performance at this Yorkshire theatre, were he spends the greater part of the year directing other people's work. More than half of his plays have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or at the RSC. They have been translated into over thirty languages, are seen on stage and television throughout the world, and have received many national and international awards. Alan Ayckbourn was appointed a CBE in 1987 and in 1997 became to first playwright knighted since Terence Rattigan. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571205936
Author:
Ayckbourn, Alan
Author:
Royal National Theatre
Publisher:
Faber & Faber
Location:
London
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
British & Irish
Subject:
Drama-Women and Ethnic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
106-387
Publication Date:
20010631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.88 x 4.94 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » British and Irish Anthologies
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Women and Ethnic
Children's » General

House & Garden: Two Plays Used Trade Paper
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Product details 192 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780571205936 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Two plays about love and marriage take place in different auditoria simultaneously with the same large cast appearing in both of them. As always in Ayckbourn, hilarity is combined with hurt.
"Synopsis" by ,
Two dazzling new interconnected plays from the acclaimed author of Communicating Doors.

Two plays — designed to be performed simultaneously and involving the same characters — set in the same English country house on the same cloudy August day, are Alan Ayckbourn's vehicle for a sharp and hilarious scrutiny of the destructive nature of human behavior and emotions. Friends, neighbors, and hired help are gathered in preparation for a garden fête at which the guest of honor, for reasons of which no one is entirely certain, is an alcoholic, promiscuous French movie star. The surly gardener steadily ignores various intrigues being rather noisily conducted in the bushes and garden sheds, the film star's agent is mistakenly assumed to be a chauffeur and is sent to the pub for her lunch, the dog does his share of alerting passersby to covert romantic liaisons, the kitchen maid breaks everything she touches, and an amoral London writer observes the goings-on with a cool and knowing eye. As the action, and the storm clouds, build toward the afternoon's deluge, politics, friship, marriage, sex, children, the interactions of the social classes, and the absurd anachronisms of the remaining landed gentry are all submitted to Ayckbourn's penetrating gaze.

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