- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 1 hour and 23 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Original recording
- Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works
- Audible.com Release Date: August 25, 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005J5SS50
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Table Manners: Part One of Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests Trilogy Audiobook – Original recording
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Audible, Original recording
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Top customer reviews
It is one of the funniest plays ever and would love to see it on the stage.
Alan Ayckbourn is hilarious and The Norman Conquests one of the cleverest plays I've ever read.
"The Norman Conquests" is a series of three comedic tellings of the same weekend get-together of a squabbling family in the country. Not quite Roshoman, as the plays do not duplicate the same action from different viewpoints, but rather three investigations by an author of the same setup.
And a fraught setup it is, too. As originally staged at Scarborough, the three plays were presented serially, although written to be independent as well. I imagine that, once the audience caught on, the third night (whichever that was) would have been a lot of fun, watching to see what Ayckbourn had come up with and following the same six actors in different iterations of the same role.
But it must be rather difficult for the actors.
Unfortunately, I don't expect ever to see "The Norman Conquests" staged together, as while the plays are quite simple, the triology would be rather ambitious for the typical little theater.
Too bad, because "The Norman Conquests" are a bit more than a country-house farce. Not much, but a bit.
Norman, the unlikely Casanova, is not made happy by his conquests. But his troubles are as nothing to the irritations he inflicts on the family. Ayckourn is a natural comedian -- I do not say comic -- who occasionally gets off a zinger but whose humor is the rarer kind, of character and situation.
And sly. I did not catch it until sitting down to write this review, because it is not material to the plots and tends to pass unnoticed among all the turmoil, but the conqueror, who intends to run off with Annie for a "dirty weekend," and who is reduced by holiday overbookings to settle for East Grinstead (apparently a joke to English playgoers, like Hicksville), had his eye set on a hotel in Hastings. Not exactly a kneeslapper, but clever.