Once More, With Feeling: "Trilogy Sunday" Added at End of Norman Conquests Run

News   Once More, With Feeling: "Trilogy Sunday" Added at End of Norman Conquests Run Audiences will get an additional chance to see a marathon day of all three plays of Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests, the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Revival.
Stephen Mangan, Amanda Root, Paul Ritter and Amelia Bullmore
Stephen Mangan, Amanda Root, Paul Ritter and Amelia Bullmore Photo by Joan Marcus

The producers announced on June 18 that they canceled the Tuesday-Wednesday July 21-22 performances and added a "trilogy Sunday" on July 26, which is the limited engagement's closing day.

Some fans of the interlocking plays say the best way to experience the works is in this marathon one-day sitting (11:30 AM, 3:30 PM and 8 PM) at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre. Several Saturdays and Sundays in the run were trilogy days.

The 1973 comedies Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden are concurrently set in and around an English country house. When a character exits a room, he or she is stepping into a scene that appears in a later play — and the joke is richer and more immediate for audiences who experience it together in the same day. (Generally, you're nudging the same seat partner for all three shows.)

Director Matthew Warchus' production (considered a single play in the Tony competition) opened April 23 after previews from April 7.

The limited run marked the Broadway debut of the acclaimed 2008 production seen at The Old Vic in London. (The plays were first seen on Broadway in the 1975-76 season, after their bow in Britain.) The 2008 original cast repeated their duties in an in-the-round configuration at Circle in the Square. Warchus spun gold out of old with Boeing-Boeing in London and on Broadway; it was named Best Revival of a Play at the 2008 Tony Awards. He's also got a major hit on his hands with the Broadway production of God of Carnage, for which he won a 2009 Best Direction Tony.

The works "are ingeniously written to be enjoyed individually or as a trilogy, in any order," according to the producers.

"The action is simultaneous and each exit in one play turns out to be an entrance in another," according to production notes.

The plays have been performed on a rotating schedule during the week and are also seen in one-day marathons on several Saturdays. Remaining marathons are Saturday June 20, Saturday June 27, Sunday June 28, Sunday July 5, Saturday July 11, Saturday July 18, Saturday July 25 and Sunday July 26.

This first Broadway revival of Ayckbourn's work features Amelia Bullmore (Ruth), Jessica Hynes (Annie), Tony nominee Stephen Mangan (Norman), Ben Miles (Tom), Tony nominee Paul Ritter (Reg) and Tony nominee Amanda Root (Sarah).

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Set in the dining room (Table Manners), living room (Living Together) and garden (Round and Round the Garden) of an English country house, The Norman Conquests "follows six characters — assistant librarian Norman, his wife, in-laws and the local vet — from Saturday night through Monday morning. We watch as desperate lothario Norman (Stephen Mangan) attempts to seduce his sister-in-law Tony nominee Annie (Jessica Hynes), charm his brother-in-law's wife Sarah (Amanda Root) and woo his estranged wife Ruth (Amelia Bullmore), during a disastrously hilarious weekend of eating, drinking and misunderstanding. With his characteristic compassionate humor, Ayckbourn explores the disappointments bubbling beneath the surface as his characters' dreams of love and fulfillment go amiss."

Jessica Hynes and Ben Miles
photo by Richard Termine

As with many Ayckbourn plays, the characters live rather humble lives of quiet desperation, caged by social conventions. Some critics view them as comic tragedies. Round and Round the Garden was the Norman chapter that played on the opening night.

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The creative team includes set and costume designer Rob Howell, lighting designer David Howe, composer Gary Yershon and sound designer Simon Baker for Autograph. Production stage manager is Ira Mont.

The Norman Conquests is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Dede Harris, Tulchin/Bartner/Lauren Doll, Jamie deRoy, Eric Falkenstein, Harriet Newman Leve, Probo Productions, Douglas G. Smith, Michael Filerman/Jennifer Manocherian, Richard Winkler in association with Dan Frishwasser, Pam Laudenslager/Remmel T. Dickinson, Jane Dubin/True Love Productions, Barbara Manocherian/Jennifer Isaacson.

For more information, including the unique performance schedule, visit NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com.

Tickets are now available through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com and at the Circle in the Square box office at 235 West 50th Street.

The company of <I>The Norman Conquests</I>
The company of The Norman Conquests
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