Alan Ayckbourn’s comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia fuses a potent mix of farce and black comedy.
Sidney Hopcroft, a small-time tradesman, persuades wife Jane to throw a Christmas party hoping to find favour with a bank manager and local architect. As the celebrations get under way, class differences and naked ambition combine to hilarious effect as, one by one, the characters seek refuge in Jane’s kitchen.
Over the next two years, the Jacksons and Brewster-Wrights take turns to host festivities. But Sidney’s star is on the rise and roles are increasingly reversed as the cracks in the other couples’ marriages begin to show.