Season's Greetings

This production of Season's Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn was performed at the National Theatre in 2011.

Season’s Greetings is a black, though often farcical, comedy about a dysfunctional family Christmas, set over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in an average English suburban house.
Bernard, a feeble-spirited doctor, struggles to support his drunken lush of a wife, Phyllis, and hopelessly attempts to escape from his problems in performing a dismal puppet show for the household’s unseen children.
Belinda endures a stale relationship with Neville, he being always too busy fiddling with anything mechanical out in his shed; she resorting to flapping about the house and constantly dressing the Christmas tree.
Eddie, a lacklustre and lazy man who tried to strike out on his own but failed, sucks up to Neville for work; his pregnant wife Pattie is largely ignored, and can only nag at him and wish she were not having another child.

Things are shaken up in the house as Clive, a suave writer, arrives, but he is caught up in a non-starter of a relationship with the emotionally fuddled Rachel (Belinda’s sister).
Throughout, Harvey, a cantankerous military man, bemoans the collapse of society whilst himself gorging on TV violence. Moments of comedy and climax in the play include Belinda and Clive’s disastrous attempt to make love after everyone has gone to bed (thwarted when they set off a toy drumming bear which alerts everyone else to what they are up to), Bernard’s fight with Harvey after his puppet show goes wrong, a drunken game of snakes and ladders, and Harvey shooting Clive at the end of the play having falsely suspected him of being a looter.

Neil played Neville.

Cast: Clive - Oliver Chris, Bernard - Mark Gatiss, Pattie - Katherine Parkinson, Phyllis - Jenna Russell, Neville - Neil Stuke, Belinda - Catherine Tate, Harvey - David Troughton, Rachel - Nicola Walker, Eddie - Marc Wootton; Written by: Alan Ayckbourn; Director: Marianne Elliott; Designer: Rae Smith; Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet; Music Stephen Warbeck; Sound Designer: Ian Dickinson