Season’s Greetings at People’s Theatre
We’re sure it’ll be a fabulous festive family get-together where absolutely nothing will go wrong
~ a guest blog by Cheish Merryweather
For many, the festive season means filling your plate, drinking plenty and signing merrily – whereas for others (myself included) this season comes down to one thing: endurance. Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings is a play that relives the nightmare of spending the holidays with family; except on this occasion, we can watch safely from the audience as it unwraps.
We witnessed Neville and Belinda Bunker play host to their relatives – Rachel, Belinda’s lonely sister, tries to attempt a romance with a not-yet famous writer named Clive, Neville’s alcoholic sister Phyllis is left in charge of a hot stove, Phyllis’s hapless husband is filling everyone with dread as his agonizing annual puppet show draws closer, Neville’s bloodthirsty uncle Harvey has equipped the children with guns as gifts, and Neville’s former colleague and his heavily pregnant wife Pattie have come along for the festivities too.
The Bunker get together is carnage of its worst kind – hurt feelings, tense arguments, frustrations within relationships, unfaithfulness, and even violence. For a small cottage in the countryside, decorated splendidly, there certainly is more frostiness between the guests than outdoors.
Ayckbourn once noted that “Christmas is a gift to the dramatist – what better opportunity is there to stick together a group of people who can’t stand each other?” It’s quite clear why this is considered one of Ayckbourn’s best works even thirty years on. A hilarious festive reunion is perfect for anyone who wants to feel better about their own dysfunctional families. After all – is it even really Christmas without a few bitter of rows and frustrated tears?
Season’s Greetings is some of the best work People’s Theatre have performed this year and a unmissable run.
LISTINGS INFORMATION – Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn
DATE: Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 November 2017
VENUE: People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF
TICKETS: £13.50 (Concessions £11)
BOX OFFICE: 0191 265 5020