Funny for five minutes, the event's unaffecting pointlessness makes a stupefying seven-hour sit-through. The British cast, under Matthew Warchus's direction, plays it all extremely well; why they or anyone else would bother is the incomprehensible part. The one clue I could garner, from the audience's laughter at certain non-funny moments, is that Ayckbourn makes the ordinary public feel intelligent by showing them how the pieces fit together. That the effort is pointless and the resultant picture uninteresting makes no matter; the busywork of assembling the puzzle is enough. It seems a terrible waste of the theater's resources.

Ayckbourn's triple non-threat: Mangan and Bullmore in Living Together
Joan Marcus
Ayckbourn's triple non-threat: Mangan and Bullmore in Living Together

Details

The Norman Conquests:
Table Manners
Living Together
Round and Round the Garden
By Alan Ayckbourn
Circle in the Square
235 West 50th Street, 212-239-6200

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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