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Greek tragedy glimpsed from the nooks and crannies of purpose-built family units

 

Season’s Greetingsby Alan Ayckbourn,

National Theatre, 1st December-4th January

Tis the season to be jolly, or perhaps not with Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980 classic comedy of a typical English Christmas. The play offers family misery, marriage on the rocks, too much booze and joyless merry-making, and a few specials on the cast list: Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate, Jenna Russell and David Troughton. Director Marianne Elliott should add to her National reputation (War Horse, Saint Joan, Women Beware Women) if she holds the ring and discourages excessive “comedy” playing.

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