Ten Times Table: West End Reviews

Ten Times Table opened in the West End in 1977. This page presents extracts from some of the major reviews of the London premiere of the play.

Daily Express (Herbert Kretzmer)
"Unfaultably acted and directed by the playwright himself,
Ten Times Table is an eccentric, very English comedy that may mystify foreign tourists, but is bound to prover popular with the natives."

Daily Telegraph (John Barber)
"Alan Ayckbourn is back on top of his form in
Ten Times Table…. Ayckbourn's distinction as a playwright is owing to this one thing: he always tells the truth."

Evening News (Caren Meyer)
"Perhaps the very last scene is a little too farcical, but that is all. The cast is excellent and so is the production."

Evening Standard (Milton Shulman)
"Ayckbourn has the exasperating talent of being able to create funny situations that do not depend on witty dialogue and are almost impossible to describe without wringing all the joy out of them. They succeed primarily because audiences see in them a mirror of themselves."

Financial Times (B.A. Young)
"There are good jokes crackling most of the evening. And the playing, under Mr Ayckbourn's direction, is enchanting…. Vintage Ayckbourn this is not, but a lot of people are going to enjoy it."

The Guardian (Michael Billington)
"It doesn't explore the seam of anguish Ayckbourn mined in
Just Between Ourselves nor does it have the technical brilliance of Bedroom Farce, but it is still, by West End standards, a very funny play."

New Statesman (Benedict Nightingale)
"By his own formidable standards,
Ten Times Table is a meagre piece of work."

Punch (Sheridan Morley)
"The result is a very funny evening: mindless, but very funny."

The Scotsman (James Naughtie)
"The characters are rich and the visual gags hilarious…. They [the cast] seem set for a successful run, and Ayckbourn for another triumph."

The Stage (Douglas Blake)
"I found it disappointing as comedy, with some potentially interesting characters thrown away on too weak a situation."

Sunday Express
"The trouble with Alan Ayckbourn's new play
Ten Times Table is that it is not very good. At best it is amiable enough in an undemanding way, and generates its fair share of laughs."

Sunday Telegraph (Francis King)
"The situations in
Ten Times Table are amusing enough but they lack the inspired brilliance of, say, The Norman Conquests."

Sunday Times (John Peter)
"The comedy uncoils steadily, like a tightly wound spring; and Ayckbourn's own direction does cunning justice to his own craft. An irresistibly enjoyable evening."

The Times (Irving Wardle)
Ten Times Table also happens to be a fine and unusual piece of work, even though it represents Ayckbourn the broad comedian rather than the icy suburban analyst."

All reviews are copyright of the respective publication.