Alan Ayckbourn’s timeless tale of spousal shenanigans kicked off its national tour on Wednesday night at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Windsor, and neither the show nor the venue disappointed.

The £150,000 renovation of the 117-year-old theatre is the first major refurbishment in more than five decades, and has included repainting and redecorating the entire interior to give a consistent and classical feel to the venue, allowing the audience to feel the magic of the theatre and the stage the moment they walk through the front doors.

Re-upholstered seats as well as a cleaned and repaired front curtain reinvigorates the setting and adds sparkle to a night’s proceedings.

And Wednesday night had plenty of sparkle. How the Other Half Loves is classic Ayckbourn, filled with misunderstandings, social discord and an acute sense of the similarities and differences in the mundane lives of ordinary folk.

Starring EastEnders’ Charlie Brooks, the comedy of confusion follows the lives of the well-to-do Fosters and the raucous Phillipses, intertwined by a love affair between Bob Phillips and Fiona Foster, and the anarchy experienced by the meek Featherstones as they are unwittingly brought into this seedy situation.

Delivered ingeniously by having scenes performed in parallel at both houses, the differences and similarities of all the relationships are explored with absolute hilarity.

Director Alan Strachan, himself no stranger to working on Ayckbourn plays, masterfully directs a highly talented and well-known cast through a carousel of well executed scenes.

Praise must be lauded on the technical for simultaneously creating a duality in the relationships and a single theme running throughout, and Strachan pulls strong, funny performances for all his actors, none of whom should think of their opening night as anything other than a success. Ayckbourn is difficult to perform, and they were marvellous at getting the cadences and tempo of the play.

Of course, no review is complete without some criticism – it could have been longer, but only because I didn’t want it to end. It was wonderful from the lifting of the opening curtain to the final bow.

The Theatre Royal was packed to the rafters, and I doubt there would have been a disenchanted member in the whole theatre.

Indeed, I can see this being a packed out show for its entire 10-day run.