• Follow BBBway on Twitter

  • Boneau/Bryan-Brown on LinkedIn
  • This Just In:

  • BBBway Tweets

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • wordpress stats

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS OPENS TO RAVES

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

CONQUERS NEW YORK!

THE OLD VIC REVIVAL OF

ALAN AYCKBOURN’S COMEDY TRILOGY,

DIRECTED BY MATTHEW WARCHUS, OPENS TO RAVES


PRODUCTION PLAYS LIMITED RUN THROUGH JULY 25 AT CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE

 

 

The Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy, THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, directed by Matthew Warchus, opened on Broadway on Thursday, April 23 and the raves are still coming in.  Here’s a sampling of what the critics had to say about the production, which is playing a limited run through July 25 at Circle in the Square Theatre:

 

Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/theater/reviews/24norm.html?ref=arts

 

“Oh” is not widely acknowledged as one of the funniest words in English. Nor does the simple “aah” generally induce convulsive giggles. Yet these unassuming monosyllables acquire brute force in the topping, London-born revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s  THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, crippling you with laughter that shakes the body and, more subversively, fractures the soul.

 

The response these words elicit is in inverse proportion to the volume at which they are spoken. They are usually uttered quietly, as reflexively as you or I might say them in the course of an average day. But “oh” and “aah” are stealth killers – variously packed with surprise, disappointment, anger, triumph and confusion – in the context of the trilogy of plays now in giddy rotation at the Circle in the Square. And they keep gathering strength during the seven speeding hours it takes to perform Mr. Ayckbourn’s three comedies, first staged in the early 1970s and looking younger and healthier than ever in the production that opened Thursday night..

 

For its impeccably natural portrayal of tales of ordinary misery, THE NORMAN CONQUESTS suggests nothing so much as Chekhov pumped full of nitrous oxide.” 

 

 

Elisabeth Vincentelli, NEW YORK POST

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04242009/entertainment/theater/triumphant_conquests_165853.htm

 

“Matthew Warchus has spun comic gold, with utmost clarity and actorly fireworks. The cast is never less than awe-inspiring.”

 

 

Joe Dziemianowicz, DAILY NEWS

 http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2009/04/24/2009-04-24_the_norman_conquests_conquers_bway_with_laughter.html

 

“Five stars (out of five)!  Alan Ayckbourn’s ability to crack you up is consistently on display – zinger after zinger, scene after scene, play after play.  Matthew Warchus has a Midas touch for comedy.  A wonderful, well-oiled cast. The six actors draw you irresistibly into their exploits.”

 

 

Terry Teachout, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124052769963750221.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

“I doubt I’ve ever laughed longer or harder.  The best way to see the razor sharp THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is in a single gulp.  I’ll be surprised if the remaining trilogy performances don’t sell out in a matter of days, so get cracking.”

 

 

David Rooney, VARIETY

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940111.html?categoryid=3276&cs=1

 

“Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy delivers more laughs than ought to be legal.  It’s an endless valley of jokes, with hilarious peaks and contemplative valleys. Richly rewarding, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube with humor and heart, its structural  ingenuity matched by an exceptional cast and supple direction.”

 

 

Michael Kuchwara, ASSOCIATED PRESS

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=929111&lang=eng_news

 

“Seeing one play in THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is a pleasure. Watching a second is even better. Add a third and you will get the full force of Alan Ayckbourn’s expert theatrical delirium.”

 

 

Richard Zoglin, TIME MAGAZINE

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1893511,00.html

 

“‘THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is packed with laughs, brimming with stage tomfoolery and staged superbly by Matthew Warchus.  A pitch-perfect revival.”

 

 

Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY

http://www.usatoday.com/life/theater/reviews/2009-04-26-stage-reviews_N.htm

 

“Exhilarating.  This splendid new staging of Alan Ayckbourn’s comic trilogy, imported from London’s Old Vic, runs just under seven hours, including three 20-minute intermissions. But director Matthew Warchus and his expert cast make the time fly

 

 

David Cote, TIME OUT NEW YORK

http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/theater/73911/theater-review-the-norman-conquests

 

I gleefully gobbled up Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy of comedies and was hungry for more.  In director Matthew Warchus’s convulsively funny revival, you will find nearly inexhaustible stores of farcical pleasure, thanks to a visiting ensemble of top-shelf English thespians. A basically flawless staging: rapid-fire comic banter relieved by deliciously awkward silences and pauses that let a more nuanced melancholy seep in.  The sextet that drives this unique treat offers the proverbial master class in meticulously crafted seriocomic performance.”

 

 

Dan Kois, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

http://nymag.com/arts/theater/reviews/56265/

 

“Uproarious.  All three plays have melted in my memory into one delicious theatrical experience.”

 

 

Melissa Rose Bernardo, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20274472,00.html

 

“Grade: A. The Norman Conquests is masterful.  Three plays, six characters…infinite possibilities.  Will you want to see all of them?  Given the smashing production, the answer is an unqualified yes.”

 

 

Roma Torre, NY1

http://www.ny1.com/Content/ny1_living/97903/ny1-theater-review—the-norman-conquests-/Default.aspx

 

“Seldom has a comedy crossed our shores that produced the kind of gut splitting laughter heard in Alan Ayckbourn’s masterful play. I’d have to go back to the original Noises Off on Broadway to recall such a comically consummate production.  In this triumphant NORMAN CONQUESTS, everyone wins.”

 

 

John Simon, BLOOMBERG NEWS

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aGlsvXopBns0&refer=muse

 

Four stars (out of four).  THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is a remarkable invention, generating superior laughter.   One’s slaphappy involvement grows from play to play, until one finds oneself howlingly absorbed in their thrashings and belly-flops.  The six actors could not be better, and Matthew Warchus conclusively establishes himself as one of our era’s supreme farce directors.”

 

 

Robert Feldberg, BERGEN RECORD

 http://www.northjersey.com/entertainment/stage/43605027.html

 

“One of the most hilarious days and nights I’ve ever spent in a theater.  I wouldn’t have missed a second.  A transcendently joyful occasion, directed with genius-like imagination and resourcefulness.”

 

 

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

 

# # # #

 

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com 

 

%d bloggers like this: