The Star-News


'The Norman Conquests,' three plays in one, is funny and delightful

Sat, Oct 09 2010 07:39 PM Posted By: Maria Patrice Amon

In the Cygnet Theatre's presentation of "The Norman Conquests," playwright Alan Ayckbourn depicts the wild weekend among a 1970s British family. "The Norman Conquests" is actually a trilogy of plays, "Table Manners," "Living Together" and "Round and Round the Garden" -- each a funny and delightful piece.

Annie has planned to take a weekend holiday, so her brother and sister-in-law travel to the country to take over the care of the siblings' elderly mother. However, it is soon revealed that the holiday was going to be between Annie and her brother-in-law Norman and the holiday is cancelled. With everyone already in the country, they stay in the house and the weekend becomes dominated by Norman’s antics.

The basic story of the weekend is presented from the vantage point of a different location in a single English country estate in each of the plays. "Table Manners" is set in the dinning room and the audience sees the weekend only though the events that occur in that room. "Living Together" moves to the living room and sheds light on new aspects of the weekend. "Round and Round the Garden" is set outside and exposes a wholly new and unexpected side of the weekend.

The experience of watching three plays may seem daunting, but consider the rewards of the challenge: the fun of watching hurricane Norman make his way through the family.

As if a great experience was not enough, Cygnet Theatre is offering a free shirt when patrons purchase tickets to all three plays.

"The Norman Conquests" is playing in rotation through Nov. 7 at the Cygnet Theatre in Old Town. Tickets are available through the theater's box office at 337-1525 or online at www.cygnettheatre.com.


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