Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Living Together - by Alan Ayckbourn

Living Together is the second play of The Norman Conquests trilogy. It takes place in the Living Room, over the same weekend, with the same characters.

This one begins on Saturday evening with Norman sulking because his trip has been canceled, Reg dealing with the bags - and the game he's invented that he's hoping to play - and Sarah marshaling everyone around. As the plays pile up the sense that anyone has control over anything really does deteriorate, because we see what's happening in the next room when character's aren't around we see how little effect individual's attempts to control the situation have.

Married relationships take the foreground in this play. Particularly Sarah and Reg's union - with her constantly running him down and bossing him - dismissing his attempts to get everyone to play his game with him - and his general acceptance of her command. This plays counter to Ruth and Norman's marriage which although Norman seems unable to stop himself from suggesting a roll on the carpet or a get-away to Bournemouth to every lady present has an honesty and bluntness that carries them - and by the end, carries them through. In a way.

And it's a comedy. And it's filled with lonely and somewhat sad people trying to make the best of things.

Tomorrow I'll find out what's been going on in the garden.

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