The Norman Conquests, Acclaimed in London, Opens on Broadway April 23

News   The Norman Conquests, Acclaimed in London, Opens on Broadway April 23 A middle class English weekend gets complicated — in triplicate — by a randy Brit named Norman in the new Broadway production of Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests, opening at Circle in the Square April 23 after previews from April 7.
Stephen Mangan, Amanda Root, Paul Ritter and Amelia Bullmore
Stephen Mangan, Amanda Root, Paul Ritter and Amelia Bullmore Photo by Joan Marcus

Comprised of a trio of comedies playing in repertory, the unique limited run is 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.)

The 2008 original cast and director Matthew Warchus repeat 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. He might well be competing with himself in the Tony Award category of Best Direction of a Play.

The Norman Conquests includes three full-length plays (with separate admission): Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden.

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 will be performed on a rotating schedule during the week and can also be seen in a one-day marathon on "Trilogy Saturdays" — with performances at 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM and 8 PM. The limited run of The Norman Conquests plays to July 26.

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

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 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 is the Norman chapter playing 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