Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings

It’s Christmas Eve and the host is tinkering in the toolshed, his wife’s feeling neglected, his neurotic sister’s wrecking the food, and their ex-security guard uncle (a knife strapped to his calf) is glued to the same TV programme he watched last year – and the year before that.

Even without the addition of an incompetent brother-in-law rehearsing an interminable puppet show (and a miserable couple expecting yet another baby) it’s a recipe for disaster, stirred up by too much booze and the arrival of a novelist with whom his spinster sister-in-law has fallen in unreciprocated love.

Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980 comedy is as bleak as it is funny, and a strong cast (including Mark Gatiss, David Troughton and Catherine Tate) makes you glad the festive season is over for another year.


Lyttelton at the National Theatre
South Bank
Waterloo tube
020 7452 3000
Booking until March 13
£10 – £44.00

- Louise Kingsley