12:07PM, Friday 11 October 2019
Written in the 1970s by Olivier and Tony award winning playwright, Alan Ayckbourn, his sharp comedy, ‘Ten Times Table’ arrives at Windsor’s Theatre Royal this week.
This excellent production shows that Ayckbourn’s trademark social observation and dark humour shares much with the current political climate.
With the local community committee rapidly disintegrating and dividing along opposite ends of the political spectrum, the ensuing chaos certainly resonates today.
The entire cast, with reactions of humour, helpless concern or squirming embarrassment capture brilliantly Ayckbourn’s biting satire.
All parts are beautifully played, and utterly authentic in depicting the behaviour of ordinary people in everyday situations.
At its heart of course is the cast of committee members; Ray, played by Robert Daws expresses exasperation par excellence.
He manages to hold together the committee and everything that goes along in the play. His wife Helen provides a very strong foil to the Marxist Donald, played by Mark Curry.
Almost stealing every scene with brilliant comic timing is the octogenarian Audrey played by Elizabeth Power.
Pathos and humour abounds, not least exemplified by the character Laurence who is drunkenly portrayed by Robert Duncan.
After the interval, the change of tone and introduction of riotous farce is superbly choreographed by the Director Robin Herford who worked with Alan Ayckbourn in the 1970s.
The intimate Windsor Theatre Royal is able to recreate the minimalist drab interiors of a three star Scarborough Hotel with just the right amount of Christmas tinsel.
All in all this proves to be a terrific comedy for all to enjoy.
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