May’s production by Newport Playgoers is classic Ayckbourn, featuring one of his favourite subjects – the dinner party from hell.
A young well-to-do couple, living in a posh docklands apartment, Justin and Julie-Ann, both work in computers and are hopelessly mis-matched in love. They plan a dinner party where they will introduce their parents to each other: Justin’s upper crust alcoholic mother from Surrey and Julie-Ann’s bigoted Yorkshire father and prim mother.
Into this doomed scenario drops – literally – via the balcony upstairs and the river, Paige, a former lap dancer with suicidal tendencies and her thick gun-toting minder who is employed by her violent boy friend. They proceed to wreak havoc on the meticulously planned evening but the brilliantly orchestrated mayhem is tempered by subtle insights into family relationships and class distinctions.
Judith Lindwall directs this hilarious play with dark undertones which many consider to be the best of Ayckbourn’s trilogy, ‘Damsels in Distress’. To book tickets, click on the link above.