New in 2009 Three interconnected comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, performed in rotating rep....Variety calls the trilogy a "richly rewarding revival" that "delivers more laughs than ought to be legal." Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
The Broadway production of The Norman Conquests closed July 26, 2009. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers:
A trio of comedies set over one weekend at a home in the English countryside. Each play takes place in a different locations around the house: the dining room in Table Manners, the living room in Living Together, and the garden in Round and Round the Garden. The ingenious result is that as plots unfold, something seemingly incidental in one play takes on a hysterical new context in the next.
Table Manners: the events of the weekend as seen from the dining room. In which Reg finds food scarce despite having it thrown at him by Sarah…Sarah is scandalized by Annie…Annie is disappointed by men in general and Tom in particular…Tom knocks down Norman…Norman’s romantic proposals are ruined thanks to Ruth…Ruth loses her patience, her temper and her glasses…and in which everyone has trouble deciding where to sit.
Living Together: the events of the weekend as seen from the sitting room. In which Reg is driven mad by Tom…Tom tells Annie a thing or two…Annie nearly comes to blows with Sarah…Sarah sees a different side of Norman…Norman sorts things out with Ruth…Ruth discovers the charms of a fireside rug…and in which nobody enjoys playing board games.
Round and Round the Garden: the events of the weekend as seen from the garden. In which Ruth thoroughly confuses Tom…Tom succeeds in asking Annie…Annie gets a glimpse of Norman’s pajamas…Norman tells Sarah stories by moonlight…Sarah disapproves of Reg’s outdoor sports…and in which everyone gets to roll in the grass.
2009 Tony Award: Best Revival of a Play. 2009 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Ensemble Performance. 2009 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Ensemble Performance. 2009 New York Drama Critics' Circle Special Citation: Director and Cast.
Unassuming monosyllables acquire brute force in the topping, London-born revival of Alan Ayckbourn's "Norman Conquests," crippling you with laughter that shakes the body and, more subversively, fractures the soul. Mr. Ayckbourn mines the explosive potential of irritable, dissatisfied and restlessly bored people in close quarters.
These six actors give meaning to the term "ensemble," a half-dozen seamless performances that perfectly match each other and the flawless production. Credit director Matthew Warchus, who has harnessed Ayckbourn's considerable gift for comic mayhem and his penchant for creating intricate, almost mathematically precise plots.
The six actors -- Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter and Amanda Root -- could not be better, and Matthew Warchus conclusively establishes himself as one of our era's supreme farce directors. Production values are up to snuff, notably Rob Howell's costumes and David Howe's lighting, and the writing is consistently superb.
New York Daily News
The show, direct from London's Old Vic, is a real treat. Not just because of the sheer size, but because Ayckbourn's ability to crack you up is consistently on display. Much of the success owes to Matthew Warchus, a director with a Midas touch for comedy who's steered a wonderful, well-oiled cast from across the pond. The six actors draw you irresistibly into their exploits.
New York Post
After last season's "Boeing-Boeing" and, more recently, "God of Carnage," [director Matthew Warchus] just spun comic gold out of another good-not-great play. The cast is never less than awe-inspiring. Ayckbourn may have turned standard boulevard comedy inside-out in "The Norman Conquests," but this crack team stitched it back together with brio.
Alan Ayckbourn has perfected the craft of multipart domestic puzzles - interlocking stories meant both to stand alone and to click together for a fuller picture of the human comedy. The 1973 plays are cleverly constructed, fearlessly performed and meticulously directed by the farce king of the day, Matthew Warchus.
"The Norman Conquests" delivers more laughs than ought to be legal while steadily expanding our perspective on the needling dissatisfaction beneath the comic chaos of his characters' lives. There's no such lack of audience fulfillment in the richly rewarding revival, its structural ingenuity matched by an exceptional cast and by the supple modulations of Matthew Warchus' direction.
July 6, 2009
Excellent! Seeing the three shows in order really let us appreciate how one play was building on the other on the other. I don't think you can appreciate that if you see them one at a time.