In principle, it appears to be impeccable planning: a restoration of Alan Ayckbourn’s 30-year-old bilious comic drama about the lines, tears, constrained joy and emergencies of Christmas family get-togethers. In any case, in spite of the fact that Marianne Elliott’s creation has its minutes, it never fully accomplishes the excruciating daze of great Ayckbourn recoveries.
Mostly, it’s the space. His plays perpetually work best in private theaters. Rae Smith’s three-story set, which would be perfect for A Small Family Business, likewise appears to be too enormous: however we get a point by point diversion of the Bunker family home, the upper floors are to a great extent unnecessary since the vast majority of the comic activity is at ground level.