The Norman Conquests

August 23, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS | 0 Comments |

(A marriage made in hell - Norman and Ruth)





(1977) (Written by Alan Ayckbourn; Directed by Herbert Wise)

This three-part dance about a weekend in the country, set at parallel times in different rooms of a large house, is not everyone’s cup of tea by a long urn, but it satisfies in its neat construction, its gentle humour, and several rollicking performances. “Table Manners” revolves around the dining room; “Living Together” the lounge and the conclusion is “Round and Round the Garden.”  The episodes stand alone but we recommend that you watch all three consecutively, over a few nights (or one long rainy afternoon).

NCtomannieKudos to the overwound Sarah (Penelope Keith), smarmy and wicked Norman (Tom Conti), the rather wilting Annie (Penelope Wilton), the hideously cheery Reg (Richard Briers), the myopic and insouciant Ruth (Fiona Walker) and the kindly, stoic and hopelessly dopey Tom (David Troughton) who keeps barging in, freeloading, failing to notice he has a rival for Annie, and making inane comments, such as gazing at the sky and declaiming “it’s going to be a scorcher!” while something important is going on.


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