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House & Garden

Two Plays

Alan Ayckbourn

Faber & Faber

Two dazzling new interconnected plays from the acclaimed author of Communicating Doors.

Two plays -- designed to be performed simultaneously and involving the same characters -- set in the same English country house on the same cloudy August day, are Alan Ayckbourn's vehicle for a sharp and hilarious scrutiny of the destructive nature of human behavior and emotions. Friends, neighbors, and hired help are gathered in preparation for a garden fête at which the guest of honor, for reasons of which no one is entirely certain, is an alcoholic, promiscuous French movie star. The surly gardener steadily ignores various intrigues being rather noisily conducted in the bushes and garden sheds, the film star's agent is mistakenly assumed to be a chauffeur and is sent to the pub for her lunch, the dog does his share of alerting passersby to covert romantic liaisons, the kitchen maid breaks everything she touches, and an amoral London writer observes the goings-on with a cool and knowing eye. As the action, and the storm clouds, build toward the afternoon's deluge, politics, friship, marriage, sex, children, the interactions of the social classes, and the absurd anachronisms of the remaining landed gentry are all submitted to Ayckbourn's penetrating gaze.

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Praise for House & Garden

"An audacious, crazy, altogether brilliant achievement." --Richard Zoglin, Time magazine

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alan Ayckbourn

  • Born in London in 1939, Alan Ayckbourn spent most of his childhood in Sussex and was educated at Haileybury. Leaving there one Friday at the age of seventeen, he went into the theatre the following Monday and has been working in it ever since as, variously, a stage manager, sound technician, scene painter, prop-maker, actor, writer and director. These last two talents he developed thanks to his mentor, Stephen Joseph, whom he first met in 1958 upon joining his newly formed Studio Theatre Company in Scarborough. A BBC Radio Drama Producer from 1965 to 1970, upon the death of Stephen Joseph, he returned to Scarborough to become the company's Artistic Director. He holds the post to this day, though the theatre is now named after its founder. He is the author of over fifty plays, most of which received their first performance at this Yorkshire theatre, were he spends the greater part of the year directing other people's work. More than half of his plays have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or at the RSC. They have been translated into over thirty languages, are seen on stage and television throughout the world, and have received many national and international awards. Alan Ayckbourn was appointed a CBE in 1987 and in 1997 became to first playwright knighted since Terence Rattigan. He lives in London.
  • Alan Ayckbourn
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Available Formats and Book Details

House & Garden

Two Plays

Alan Ayckbourn

  • Trade Paperback

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