How The Other Half Loves: Character Notes by Alan AyckbournDespite How The Other Half Loves being one of Alan Ayckbourn's most popular plays, he has not written any notes regarding the characters of the play. However, in correspondence from 1989 and 2011, he does offer acting and directing advice for the play which is reprinted here.
"Make the characters consistent and real and to make each situation matter desperately. The more improbable the situation became the more desperately it should matter."
(Personal correspondence, 1989)
"Tips for directing How The Other Half Loves? Well, the obvious ones, of course. With a plot like that which stretches credibility to the limit, the play needs to be 'sold' to the audience via some rather convincing performances. I've avoided the word truthful because that can mean so many things. But truth it needs. Truth to itself. The characters need to be convinced of their predicament and remain firmly within the situation as it escalates. It should all matter to them.
"I sometimes use the phrase when I'm working with a company: Please, leave me to provide the vehicle - that's my job. Once we get it up and running, your job is stay on board and steer. Never feel tempted to get out and give it a push and whatever you do, don't wave at the audience!"
(Personal correspondence, 2011)
Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn. Please do not reproduce without permission of Alan Ayckbourn.