Things We Do For Love | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Things We Do For Love 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Things We Do For Love, Organic Theater Company. With over 50 works to his credit, Alan Ayckbourn is a contender for the title of Britain's most prolific author. And next to Shakespeare, he's the most produced playwright in his home country, which loves his stuff. And for good reason: with few exceptions Ayckbourn's works are familiar and pleasantly nostalgic, either white-collar comedies of manners or ribald farces. This 1998 comedy is a bit of both.

By Ayckbourn's standards, Things We Do for Love is a relatively modest affair. Eschewing the epic scale of his theatrical diptych House and Garden, he gives the play just four giddy, sex-starved characters, the occupants of three flats in a London building. But the problems that have dogged him throughout his career are on display here: at least two of the characters--a spoiled fiancee and an alcoholic postman--are underwritten, and at nearly two and a half hours, the play cries out for a more economical treatment.

The cast--particularly Hollis McCarthy as beleaguered, numb executive assistant Barbara Trapes--does an admirable job of giving Ayckbourn's stereotypes an emotional backbone. And Stephen Packard's set design, which cleverly reveals sections of all three flats, adds a nice touch. This isn't a great play by any stretch, but in director William Pullinsi's hands it remains engaging--even after intermission, when the climax is patently obvious to everyone but the characters.

--Nick Green


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Nick Green

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Broken Bone Bathtub Humboldt Park
October 30
Lit & Lectures
November 12

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories