The Old Vic brings Alan Ayckbourn's comic masterpieces, The Norman Conquests to the London stage for the first time in 34 years. Matthew Warchus (Speed-the-Plow, God of Carnage, The Lord of the Rings) directs an outstanding ensemble cast including Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan and Paul Ritter. Especially for this production The Old Vic auditorium will be transformed into 'The CQS Space' to recreate the intimate 'theatre-in-the-round' experience that the plays were originally written for.
The interconnecting triptych of plays, Round and Round the Garden, Table Manners and Living Together follow the same six characters, Norman, his in-laws and the local vet over a summer weekend, in an English Country house.
Believing it his mission in life to make women happy by showering them with love, Norman (Stephen Mangan) makes the most of every opportunity to seduce his sister-in-law, Annie (Jessica Hynes), charms his brother-in-law's wife, Sarah and woo his wife Ruth (Amelia Bullmore) during this disastrous weekend of squabbling, eating, drinking and fondling.
Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden are ingeniously structured to allow each play to be enjoyed independently or as a trilogy in any combination. Together they create a fascinating, hilarious puzzle, which weaves a masterful web of interconnecting secrets and desires. With his inimitable wit and compassion, Ayckbourn reveals the frustration and disappointments which bubble beneath the surface of a family's relationships and brings to light their thoughts on sex, marriage, love and loneliness.
Alan Ayckbourn is one of Britains's most popular and prolific playwrights, with 70 full-length plays to his name, which have been translated into more than 35 languages. These multi-award winning names include Absurd Person Singular, recently revived in the West End plus Just Between Ourselves, A Chorus of Disapproval, Woman in Mind and House & Garden to name but a few.