A small Family Business

Premiere:  19/03/2016
Igor in role: Cliff

A bitter drama

Alan Ayckbourn´s drama had its premiere at London´s National Theatre in 1987, gaining the Evening Standard Award for the best play of the year. Sir Alan Ayckbourn is one of the most prolific English authors, having penned over seventy dramas, more than half of which saw their premiere at London’s West End and also received many important awards there. The dynamic, sharp comedy A Small Family Business takes place during one autumn week in the lives of the family of businessman Jack McCracken, who is determined to stick to his strict moral principles despite the corruption in the world surrounding him. However, this doesn’t last long. He has just become the boss of his father-in-law’s company, and as he slowly starts to investigate the real state of affairs at the firm he encounters everything he has so far rejected. He is forced to try to keep certain damaging materials secret and finds out at the same time that his seemingly virtuous and decent family is full of thieves and adulterers, and that with them personal interests and business take precedence over moral principles. Despite the era of its creation, the play is still topical, which is also confirmed by the fact that it returned to the National Theatre in London last year with great success. Ayckbourn perfectly combines humour with satirical observation of the world, offering an astounding probe into family relationships and delivering a comic plot which culminates in a surprising and chilling ending.