Painfully Good and Pointedly Cruel……

….according to the Financial Times review, Alan Ayckbourn’s drama set in England in the 70s, is just that.

Absent Friends Ayckbourn

From the Guardian:     “There are times when you are caught between laughter and tears in a way that makes comparisons with Chekhov seem far from fanciful.”

“Ayckbourn is here writing, not for the last time, about the innocent destructiveness of the well-intentioned: the agent of chaos on this occasion is the bereaved Colin, whose fiancee has lately drowned and for whom his not-so-close friends throw a consolatory tea party. Even the anticipation of Colin’s arrival exposes the fractures in the relationships: Diana, the hostess, is convinced that her husband, Paul, is having an affair with one of the guests, Evelyn. For her part, Evelyn is a moodily taciturn young mum tethered to a hopelessly incompetent husband, John. The party is completed by Marge who, lacking a child of her own, becomes surrogate mother to her permanently ailing partner. And when the beaming Colin turns up, Ayckbourn really puts the catalyst amongst the pigeons.”

There are some discount tickets aavailable through THEATRE ALERTS

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