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Argument breaks out on stage at St Albans theatre

PUBLISHED: 08:31 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:47 09 April 2018

Rehearsal photograph of The Argument at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. [Picture: Nick Clarke]

Rehearsal photograph of The Argument at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. [Picture: Nick Clarke]

Abbey Theatre

A married couple’s argument and the heated exchanges that follow will be played out on a St Albans stage.

Rehearsal photograph of The Argument at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. [Picture: Nick Clarke]Rehearsal photograph of The Argument at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. [Picture: Nick Clarke]

William Boyd’s dark comedy The Argument can be seen at The Abbey Theatre from Friday, April 20.

Pip and Meredith have a bust-up after a night out.

It starts out as a tiff because he likes the film and she doesn’t.

However, it soon escalates into something rather more significant, including the fact that Pip has been having an affair with a work colleague.

This is the starting point for The Argument.

In 10 taut scenes playwright Boyd examines what it is to argue with those we love, and those we should love.

He looks at our ability to judge others and our power to hurt them.

As to what makes a successful marriage, he suggests that the only certainty about the words “I do” is that both parties have the best of intentions.

According to Company of Ten director Terry Prince, Boyd is shining a light onto the accommodations we make to keep a marriage going, or indeed might not be committed enough to make.

He said: “During these 10 arguments, containing a mixture of wounding, raw emotional outbursts and laugh-out-loud humour, Boyd examines how the rows we have with one another get to the very heart of our relationships.

“This applies not only to our marital ones but also that of parents and their children.

“Is it possible to love your children but not particularly like them? At least one character in the play thinks it is honest to admit this.”

As their friends and family become involved in Pip and Meredith’s disagreement, old prejudices, harsh judgements and painful revelations emerge.

The arguments that ensue between everyone involved go far beyond the state of Pip and Meredith’s three-year marriage.

Meredith’s sharp-tongued mother Chloe and her stiff English father Frank debate the rift from the perspective of a couple who have managed a 35-year marriage through compromise and forgiveness.

The couple’s single friends, Jane and Tony, are torn by wanting to understand Pip’s transgression and Meredith’s anger, but are still hoping for a happy ending.

And is Meredith entirely innocent?

Director Terry Prince added: “As for friendships, can they hold firm when we realise what others actually think about our behaviour?

“Do we really want to hear the honest truth from our closest friends?”

Performances of this darkly funny play take place in the Abbey Theatre Studio from Friday, April 20 to Saturday, April 21 at 8pm, on Sunday, April 22 at 2.30pm, and then from Tuesday, April 24 to Saturday, April 28 at 8pm.

Tickets cost £12, and £11 concessions.

• To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

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