Is Alan Ayckbourn Our Best Living Playwright?

With House and Garden, the British master proves again he's the best on either side of the Atlantic

British playwright Alan Ayckbourn has long been the theater's champion daredevil, a man who never saw a stage stunt he wouldn't tackle. One of his early works, The Norman Conquests, was a cycle of three plays that recounted the events of a weekend from three different parts of the same house. One Ayckbourn play moves backward in time. Another conflates all the action in a house, from living room to attic, into a single stage space. His ingenious, nearly unstageable Intimate Exchanges has 16 permutations, depending on the choices made by characters at key points in the action.

So the gimmick...

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