House & Garden

Ranked #23 on the list Best Books by Alan Ayckbourn

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About House & Garden

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House and Garden are a diptych (or linked pair) of plays written by the English playwright Alan Ayckbourn, first performed in 1999. They are designed to be staged simultaneously, with the same cast in adjacent auditoria, and were published together as House & Garden. House takes place in the drawing room, and Garden in the grounds, of a large country house. Each play is self-contained (although each of course refers more or less obliquely to events in the other), and they may be attended in either order. As is typical of his work, Ayckbourn portrays the mostly bittersweet relationships between more or less unhappy, upper-middle-class people. The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the magazine House & Garden, in which country houses and gardens are often portrayed as idyllic, peaceful places. After performances in 1999 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, the plays were staged in 2000 at the Royal National Theatre in London with a cast including Jane Asher, David Haig and Sian Thomas, and in 2001 at the Royal and Derngate theatres in Northampton. Act I of each play takes place in the morning, before lunch, and Act II in the afternoon, of a single Saturday in August. In

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