How The Other Half Loves: In Brief

Key Facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's How The Other Half Loves.
  • How The Other Half Loves is Alan Ayckbourn's 9th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on 31 July 1969.
  • The London premiere took place at the Lyric Theatre on 5 August 1970.
  • How The Other Half Loves is the first Ayckbourn play to utilise a composite set (one set representing several locations). The other most notable Ayckbourn play featuring a composite set is Taking Steps.
  • Although not specifically written for the in-the-round production - as is the case with Taking Steps - Alan Ayckbourn considers it a play that works best in-the-round due to the need to be able to appreciate the two flats being overlaid over each other.
  • Although frequently described as a farce, the author believes it is a comedy and that his only true farce is the play Taking Steps.
  • The extra-ordinarily successful original London run of the play is the second longest contiguous run of an Ayckbourn play after the 1973 production of Absurd Person Singular (contiguous in that the National Theatre's 1977 production of Bedroom Farce ran for longer than both these plays, but as it was in repertory it did not have an unbroken run and consequently did not have as many performances as the other plays).
  • Robert Morley - who infamously played Frank in the original West End production - originally wanted the role changed so that Frank was a flower arranger, had a butler and wore a kimono during the infamous dinner party scene. Alan refused, although the actor notably took many other liberties with the play much to the playwright's despair.
  • How The Other Half Loves was the first Ayckbourn play to be staged on Broadway. The production featured Phil Silvers, of Sergeant Bilko fame, as Frank Foster.
  • It was the first Ayckbourn play to have a West End revival. Having originally been performed in London in 1970, Greenwich Theatre's acclaimed 1988 revival transferred to the Duke Of York's Theatre during the same year. Its first West End specific revival (i.e. not a transfer) would only come in 2016 with Alan Strachan again directing the play at the Royal Theatre Haymarket.
  • How The Other Half Loves was only the second full-length play by Alan Ayckbourn to have been published; it has never been out of print since 1972.
  • Unlike the vast majority of Alan Ayckbourn's plays between the 1965 and 1990, How The Other Half Loves has not been adapted into any other film (i.e. radio/audio, television or film). This is largely due to the requirement of the composite set and the structure of the play.
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