Joking Apart

Definition

Theater

  • A black comedy by Alan Ayckbourn, first presented in 1978 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in Scarborough.

    The play covers a 12-year span in the lives of its main characters;the four scenes are all set in the suburban garden of Richard andhis wife Anthea. Quite inadvertently, this charming and successfulcouple wreak havoc on the lives of friends and neighbours by arousingenvy and lust. The beautiful Anthea is still loved by her ex-boyfriendBrian and her husband's business partner Sven. Next door, the tense youngvicar Hugh also has a passion for Anthea, which has driven his wife Louiseonto prescription drugs. Similarly, Richard's effortless superioritydrives Sven into self-destructive bitterness. Finally, at a party given byRichard and Anthea for their daughter's 18th birthday, the now grown-upgirl is perplexed by the antics of her parents and their friends.

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