STORY: HOUSE: Up at the house, Teddy has dreams of a bright political future as the new local MP. the only thing barring his path, ia an urgent need to clean up his private life before the Prime Minister's special envoy arrives...
STORY: GARDEN: Down in the garden, frenzied preparations are underway for the annual village fete. Will the young maypole dancers pull it off? Is there someone sinister lurking in the bushes? And exactly what does go on in the fortune teller's tent?
CAST: Jane Asher, David Haig, Suzy Aitchison, Malcolm Sinclair, James Bradshaw, Peter Laird, Alexandra Mathie, Adrian McLoughlin, Antonia Pemberton, Michael Siberry, Nina Sosanya, Sian Thomas, Zabou Breitman, Robin Browne, Andrew Fallaize, Charlie Hayes, Penelope McGhie, Trevor Nichols, Deborah O Malley, Nina Sosanya, Leonie Wilde.
The show has received 'mostly' good reviews from the popular press.... THE INDEPENDENT says, "You don't need to be the fortune-teller at the climactic fete to predict that the National have a nice, safe middlebrow summer hit." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, " Some of his (Alan Ayckbourn) finest, and deepest comedy." ROBERT GORE-LANGTON for THE DAILY EXPRESS says, "The Weakness of this production is that it's so unbalanced. House is a vintage comedy while Garden is anything but....Still, taken together this is an undeniably larky summer event." THE GUARDIAN says, "It is not just a triumph of theatrical logistics: Ayckbourn has important things to say about the moral mayhem of life." THE TIMES says, "The Ingenuity is even greater than in his tripartite Norman Conquests 30 years ago." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD gave the show a luke-warm response saying, "Once exposed to the comedic pleasures of House and Garden, you see there's much less to the spectacular novelties than first meets the interested eye." JOHN PETER for THE SUNDAY TIMES says, "Haig gives one of the best performances of his career" He goes on to say, "Of the two plays, Garden is the weaker....Garden is noticeably more incomplete: things happen for no apparent reason, as if some necessary explanation had been withheld." PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, As they share the same plot, it is not strictly necessary to see both, though the rewards are greater, in other words the second play is all the better for having seen the first." JANE EDWARDES for TIME OUT says, "If you were only to see one play, enter the 'House' alone; if you were to see both, visit the 'Garden' first."