(Charles Spencer’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 9/14.)
This is Alan Ayckbourn’s 75th play and the dramatist is as bang on the money as ever. Though written before the recent riots, Neighbourhood Watch seems eerily prescient about law, public order and feral youth. It is also as black a play as even Ayckbourn, that master of dark comedy, has ever written.
The action is set on a middle-class housing development to which Martin and his sister Hilda have moved. They are middle-aged Christians, both unmarried, utterly respectable, and sex never seems to have played a part in either of their lives.