4/21/2013 4:56 PM
Humorous and moving, British playwright, Alan Ayckbourn, has written an exploration about the false beliefs we hold that have been thrust upon us by the societal conventions we are expected to follow. Focusing on a dedicated career woman in the 1990’s, Ayckbourn encourages the audience to reexamine their views about loneliness, fulfillment and what it means to be in love.
Barbara has made the choice to focus on her career and has accepted her role as a cold, unattached woman of the world. When her engaged, childhood friend, Nikki, arrives to rent an apartment, Barbara’s beliefs about the superiority of her life choice are validated. Hearing the woes of Nikki’s entanglement in a previous, abusive relationship and the struggles she has faced in adjusting to her new, loving engagement has Barbara reveling in her decision to spend her life alone.
When Nikki’s fiancé Hamish arrives, the animosity between he and Barbara is palpable. Their differing views on subjects such as vegetarianism and furnishings have them stumbling into misunderstandings. The hostility grows into a surprising twist when Barbara and Hamish discover their sexual attraction for one another and decide to act on this impulse. Enhancing this humorous love triangle is resident, drunken, handyman Gilbert; so in love with Barbara that he has painted a nude mural of her on his apartment ceiling.
The set reveals three levels of apartments in the building. However, only the feet and legs of the actors are seen in the uppermost apartment and only the heads are seen in the lower apartment. Also, an experienced fight coordinator may be needed to choreograph an amusing, intricately described fight scene. Despite these small production challenges, Things We Do for Love promises to entertain and engage the audience and artists involved in the production.