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Final week to see Tony Award-winning The Norman Conquests on Broadway

FINAL WEEK TO SEE

ALAN AYCKBOURN’S TONY AWARD-WINNING COMEDY TRILOGY

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

DIRECTED BY

MATTHEW WARCHUS 

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION FROM THE OLD VIC IN LONDON

PLAYS LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 26 ONLY

 AT BROADWAY’S CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE THEATRE
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play, is now in its final week on Broadway.  The Old Vic’s critically acclaimed production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy, directed by Matthew Warchus, ends its strictly limited engagement on Sunday, July 26 at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street).   

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.  The production is also the winner of three Drama Desk and three Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Mattthew Warchus), and Distinguished Ensemble (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root).

The cast was also honored with a Theatre World special award and a special citation from the NY Drama Critics’ Circle, shared with director Matthew Warchus

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS opened Thursday, April 23 on Broadway, earning the best reviews of any play this season.

“So damn funny, it cripples you with laughter,” wrote Ben Brantley, New York Times.  “I doubt I’ve ever laughed longer or harder.  A comic masterpiece!” cheered Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal.  “A triple dose of superb comedy.  Seeing one play 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,” raved Mike Kuchwara, Associated Press.  “Delivers more laughs than ought to be legal,” claimed David Rooney, Variety.  “One of the most hilarious days and nights you’ll ever spend in

the theatre,” exclaimed Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record.   “Matthew Warchus has spun comic gold.  The cast is awe-inspiring,” proclaimed Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post.   “I was on the floor laughing,” claimed John Heilpern, New York Observer. 

The 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). 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS comprises three full length plays – Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden.  Each individual play offers a view of one comically catastrophic weekend, shared by six spouses and in-laws, at the family house in the country. And while each play is complete on its own terms, by viewing all three plays (in any order), the audience is able, detective-like, to piece together all of the hidden secrets and lies, the outrageous, hilarious and shocking interactions, which occurred over the weekend. And there are some wonderful and brilliant surprises!

The production is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by David Howe, music by Gary Yershon and sound by Simon Baker for Autograph

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS trilogy is performed in repertory.  The schedule is as follows:  

Thursday at 8:00 PM               Round and Round the Garden

Friday at 8:00 PM                    Table Manners

Saturday at 11:30 AM             Table Manners

Saturday at 3:30 PM                Living Together

Saturday at 8:00 PM                Round and Round the Garden

Sunday at 11:30 AM               Table Manners

Sunday at 3:30 PM                  Living Together

Sunday at 8:00 PM                  Round and Round the Garden

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.

Tickets are on sale through Telecharge at 212-239-6200, at  www.telecharge.com and at the Circle in the Square box office (235 West 50th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com     

The Norman Conquests, Tony Award-winner for Best Revival of a Play, enters final three weeks on Broadway

FINAL THREE WEEKS TO SEE

ALAN AYCKBOURN’S TONY AWARD-WINNING COMEDY TRILOGY

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

DIRECTED BY

MATTHEW WARCHUS

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION FROM THE OLD VIC IN LONDON

PLAYS LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 26 ONLY

 AT BROADWAY’S CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE THEATRE

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play, is now in its final three weeks on Broadway.  The Old Vic’s critically acclaimed production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy, directed by Matthew Warchus, ends its strictly limited engagement on Sunday, July 26 at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street). 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.  The production is also the winner of three Drama Desk and three Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Mattthew Warchus), and Distinguished Ensemble (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root).

The cast was also honored with a Theatre World special award and a special citation from the NY Drama Critics’ Circle, shared with director Matthew Warchus

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS opened Thursday, April 23 on Broadway, earning the best reviews of any play this season.

“So damn funny, it cripples you with laughter,” wrote Ben Brantley, New York Times.  “I doubt I’ve ever laughed longer or harder.  A comic masterpiece!” cheered Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal.  “A triple dose of superb comedy.  Seeing one play 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,” raved Mike Kuchwara, Associated Press.  “Delivers more laughs than ought to be legal,” claimed David Rooney, Variety.  “One of the most hilarious days and nights you’ll ever spend in

the theatre,” exclaimed Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record.   “Matthew Warchus has spun comic gold.  The cast is awe-inspiring,” proclaimed Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post.   “I was on the floor laughing,” claimed John Heilpern, New York Observer. 

The 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). 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS comprises three full length plays – Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden.  Each individual play offers a view of one comically catastrophic weekend, shared by six spouses and in-laws, at the family house in the country. And while each play is complete on its own terms, by viewing all three plays (in any order), the audience is able, detective-like, to piece together all of the hidden secrets and lies, the outrageous, hilarious and shocking interactions, which occurred over the weekend. And there are some wonderful and brilliant surprises!

The production is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by David Howe, music by Gary Yershon and sound by Simon Baker for Autograph

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS trilogy is performed in repertory.  The schedule is as follows:  

Tuesday at 7:00 PM                 Round and Round the Garden

Wednesday at 2:00 PM            Table Manners

Wednesday at 8:00 PM            Living Together

Thursday at 8:00 PM               Round and Round the Garden

Friday at 8:00 PM                    Table Manners

Saturday at 11:30 AM             Table Manners

Saturday at 3:30 PM                Living Together

Saturday at 8:00 PM                Round and Round the Garden

Trilogy day performances are also scheduled for Sunday, July 26, same times as on Saturdays.     

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.

Tickets are on sale through Telecharge at 212-239-6200, at  www.telecharge.com and at the Circle in the Square box office (235 West 50th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS IN THE NEWS

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

IN THE NEWS

 

The Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, directed by Matthew Warchus, opened on April 23, 2009 at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street). 

 

The production, which received rave reviews from critics, is nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Revival of a Play, Featured Actor in a Play (Stephen Mangan, Jessica Hynes), Featured Actress in a Play (Jessica Hynes, Amanda Root), Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus) and Set Design of a Play (Rob Howell).

 

The production, the best reviewed play of the year, has won three Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus) and Outstanding Ensemble Performance; three Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus) and Outstanding Ensemble Performance; a New York Drama Critics Circle special citation to director Matthew Warchus and the cast and a Theater World Award for the cast, all of whom are making their Broadway debuts.

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS features Amelia Bullmore (Ruth), Jessica Hynes (Annie), Stephen Mangan (Norman), Ben Miles (Tom), Paul Ritter (Reg) and Amanda Root (Sarah).  The production plays a limited run through July 25. 

 

Here are some recent stories featuring the production:

 

NYTimes.com

A Day of Conquests

By Erik Piepenburg

Photos by Sara Krulwich

 

The Norman Conquests, a trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn, is running on Broadway at Circle in the Square. The plays – Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden – can be seen in an all-day marathon on select weekends.

The first play starts at 11:30 a.m., and the last one ends just after 10:30 p.m. It’s a long day for everyone involved, from the actors to the audience and the crew. What’s it like to spend a day immersed in this play? Take a behind-the-scenes look with audio and photos.

 

To view the multimedia slide show, click on the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/05/21/theater/20090514_NORMAN_FEATURE.html

 

 

Wall Street Journal

Double Threat

By Ellen Gamerman

 

Among the formidable opponents Matthew Warchus is facing for a best-directing Tony: Matthew Warchus. The British director has been nominated twice in the same category, for the explosive 90-minute sprint God of Carnage and the 6½-hour madcap British trilogy The Norman Conquests.

 

“My immediate thought was, ‘Well, I can’t possibly win because I’m splitting the vote,’” says Mr. Warchus, who has had three previous Tony nominations but hasn’t yet won.

 

The two plays opened on Broadway a month apart. Mr. Warchus spent April trekking up and down Eighth Avenue between the two theaters, where an American cast had just opened Carnage and British actors were in previews for Norman.  Sometimes Carnage was still on his mind when he reached the Norman rehearsals: “I kept saying, ‘Why is everyone talking in these funny accents?’”

 

The director says he approached both comedies the same way. “It’s a very simple directing trick. Go for the pain, and the audience will laugh,” says Mr. Warchus, who directed both plays in London last year. Amanda Root, a star of “Norman,” says he urged actors to “only do things that are absolutely true to the character.”

 

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203771904574175720847238680.html

 

 

Broadway.com

Interview with Matthew Warchus

By Matt Wolf

Matthew Warchus is the first director since A.J. Antoon 36 years ago to be nominated against himself for a Tony. The 42-year-old Englishman, cited three times previously (for Art, True West and last year’s Boeing-Boeing), will go up against Bartlett Sher (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) and Phyllida Lloyd (Mary Stuart) as well as himself. Warchus was nominated for both God of Carnage, with its starry American quartet of actors (Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, James Gandolfini), and The Norman Conquests, whose ensemble cast of six Brits are all but unknown in the States. But far from lingering in New York to soak up compliments, the director was busy back home in London the very week of the nominations with a workshop of the forthcoming stage musical version of the Bruce Joel Rubin film, Ghost, due to open on the West End next year. The amiable director has been married for eight years to the American actress/singer Lauren Ward, with whom he has three children. Broadway.com caught up with the busy helmer at the end of a day’s work to talk about delivering Alan Ayckbourn across the Atlantic, bringing God of Carnage to the boil, and what it means to move from directing Ayckbourn, Mamet and Chekhov to something like Ghost.

You’ve achieved a double Tony nomination in a single category for directing, not seen on Broadway since 1973.
That’s ironic, since that’s the year The Norman Conquests was written.

The success in New York of this Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy must be especially pleasing.
It is, not least because I was the person pushing to get it to New York. I was the person who got Sonia [producer Sonia Friedman] in and said to her, ‘Surely there might be a way of doing this on Broadway; give me two weeks to make some phone calls and see if anyone bites.’ I am often told when I bring things to New York that they probably won’t work—that they’re very French or very British or very dated. I’m always being warned. I was warned on Boeing-Boeing, Art and God of Carnage, as well.

So what made you hopeful about the Ayckbourn plays?
I was convinced that if a production can tap into the almost Chekhovian depth of his writing, that it then becomes universal. When humor is based on human truth, that becomes universal humor, with none of the shrillness of the British stereotypes [of Ayckbourn] as performed by Americans. I really believe you can do all his plays in the way that we did The Norman Conquests.

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://london.broadway.com/blog/id/3011494/MatthewWarchus

 

 

Broadway.com

Fresh Face: Stephen Mangan

By Beth Stevens

Age: 37

Hometown: London, England

Currently: Playing the appalling yet appealing womanizer Norman in Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy The Norman Conquests. Each of the three plays is set in a different location of a country house (the dining room in Table Manners, the living room in Living Together and the garden in Round and Round the Garden) over the course of a single weekend.

What I Did for Love: Mangan didn’t set out to be an actor. Though he performed in school plays, he says acting didn’t feel like a career option. “My dad was a builder, my mom worked at a pub—I might as well have said I wanted to be an astronaut or the Pope or a high-jumper or something,” he exclaims. Mangan studied law at Cambridge, but soon after he graduated, his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. “She died some six months later, and there I was at a crossroads in my life. I didn’t really want to be a lawyer, and I started thinking that my grandmother died at 47, my mother at 45, so I haven’t got the best genes in the world. I thought, ‘God, if I’ve only got 20 years, why don’t I do something I really love?’” He auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and got in. “That was it: I was suddenly an actor; I’m an actor now. It’s possible.”

Electricity: Mangan is widely recognized in the U.K. for his television work, most notably the series Green Wing, but he started out as an animal of the theater. “For the first five or six years of my career, I refused to do any television or any film. My agent kept e-mailing me saying, ‘Why don’t you want to make some money?’ I just wanted to do the great classical parts.” He trooped around the country doing Shakespeare, Shaw and Moliere. Eventually, he made his agent happy and landed his first film: Billy Elliot. “I had a very small part,” the actor says of his blink-and-you-miss-it appearance in the 2000 hit as the doctor who examines Billy at the Royal School of Ballet. “I had very big sideburns on.” Now he and Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry are part of the same Broadway season. “In fact, I bumped into Stephen Daldry at something last week,” Mangan laughs. “I asked him if there was a Dr. Crane in the musical, and he said they wouldn’t be able to find anyone to give the part the weight and the dignity that I had in the film, so they cut it. And I understood. It was hard for him.”

Being Norman: The title character of The Norman Conquests is a 1970s-era assistant librarian with a lusty heart, a wild mop of curls and a tiny pair of tennis shorts. (“The shorts are my Liz Hurley Versace dress,” the actor deadpans. “They could catch on, I’m telling you.”) Norman is incredibly pleased with himself and yet remains lovable even when he’s behaving horribly. “What is it about Norman that appeals to these women?” Mangan marvels. “He’s a liar, and he’s not particularly attractive.” And yet he’s seductive. (“Put it this way,” Mangan says of kissing many of his co-stars, “if there are any colds going around the cast, I get them.”) “He’s the kind of guy that’s all fun—boundless energy, effervescent, nonstop—like a randy tiger, running around totally without ego. He’s a complex character, and it took me a long time to get my head around him. I suppose Norman today would be in a clinic for sex addiction or on medication. He’s just desperate to connect with people.”

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://www.broadway.com/Stephen-Mangan/broadway_news/5028011

 

 

Playbill.com

“Norman” Tony Nominee Mangan Says Conquests Is a Sign of the Times —

Then and Now

By Kenneth Jones

 

Norman, the untamed, unkempt, sexually voracious Brit who seeks the pleasure of three women in the three rueful comedies that make up Broadway’s Tony Award-nominated Best Revival of a Play, The Norman Conquests, just wants to be loved. Or maybe he just wants “free love,” the kind they sing about in Hair.

 

Stephen Mangan, a 2009 Tony nominee in the category of Featured Actor in a Play for the triptych by Alan Ayckbourn, agrees that Norman is a man batting his wings up against the cage of society’s norms in the time of the play, circa 1974, when the sexual revolution threatened to engulf people — or pass them by.

 

“He would really love to be a hippie,” Mangan says of Norman, whose shaggy beard and crazy mane suggest as much. “England was not a sexually adventurous — not openly, anyway — place in the early ’70s, it was very repressed. We’re known for our repression.

 

So Norman is there openly telling women that he loves them. In many ways that’s the secret to being a womanizer, just letting people know! Norman is so desperate for contact. I don’t think he’s a bad man. I think he believes when he’s with each woman that he really does love them.”

 

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://www.playbill.com/features/article/129652-Norman_Tony_Nominee_Mangan_Says_Conquests_Is_a_Sign_of_the_Times_%97_Then_and_Now

 

 

Playbill.com

Brief Encounter with Matthew Warchus

By Robert Simonson

Just at present, Matthew Warchus is that rare thing, a director who pleases both his producers and the critics.

Over the past 12 months, the British Warchus has brought over from London three plays: a revival of the 1960s sex farce Boeing Boeing, Yasmina Reza’s latest comedy of bad manners God of Carnage, and a new production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comic trilogy of a weekend in the country and the three upended relationships that result. All three plays have been praised by reviewers, both here and in England. But we all know that the laurel “critical hit” doesn’t necessarily mean anything at the box office. (Witness Desire Under the Elms.) Not so with Warchus. Boeing-Boeing became the first Broadway farce in long, looooong memory to make a profit. And if the hugely popular God of Carnage (with its four marquee stars) and Norman Conquests (with its “collect-them-all” novelty) aren’t on the way to recoupment, I’ll eat my Fedora. Warchus was recently nominated twice for the Best Director of a Play Tony Award, for the Reza and the Ayckbourn. He’s enjoyed the honor of being nominated three times before (for Art, True West and Boeing), but has yet to win. This, however, may be his year. Warchus talked to Playbill.com from England.

Playbill.com: Being nominated twice in the same Tony category presents a kind of special problem for you. Do you find yourself wanting to win for one play rather than the other? Or, does it not really matter, as long as you win for one of them?
Matthew Warchus: Yes. Well, I said to someone the other day, I’m intrigued to find out what it’s like to lose twice in one sentence.

Playbill.com: I don’t actually think that’s going to happen this time.

MW: Of course, there is the possibility that, as I bound up onto the stage, I’m slightly pissed off!

Playbill.com: It’s nice to have such problems.
MW: Yes, exactly.

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/129393-PLAYBILL.COM%27S_BRIEF_ENCOUNTER_With_Matthew_Warchus

 

 

Playbill.com

Cue & A with Jessica Hynes

By Ernio Hernandez

 

Jessica Hynes — a 2009 Tony Award nominee for her work in The Norman Conquests — fills out Playbill.com’s questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.

Full given name:
Tallulah Jessica Elina Stevenson (That’s my given maiden name) Jessica Hynes is my married name and the one I use now.

 

Hometown: Brighton

 

Audition monologue: Hermione from A Winter’s Tale “Sir, spare your threats….”

 

Special skills: Roller blading

 

How you got the nomination news: I called back a missed call and someone said, “Congratulations…”

 

Nominee you’re most excited for: My fellow actors in the Normans; we’re all rooting for each other.

 

Who you are taking Tony night: Amelia Bullmore, who plays Ruth my sister in the show.

 

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/print/129315.html

 

 

Playbill Radio

The Norman Conquests – podcast

 

The three-part Broadway comedy “The Norman Conquests” tied for the most Tony Award nominations of any non-musical show of the 2008-09 season, seven, with nods for director Matthew Warchus and stars Stephen Mangan, Paul Ritter and Amanda Root. Along with Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who serves as co-producer of “The Norman Conquests,” all of them join host Robert Viagas to describe the inner workings of their play, which is performed in three parts on three different nights. Written by prolific British author Alan Ayckbourn, the play originated at the Old Vic in London, and came over with its English cast intact.

 

To listen to the interview, click on the following link:

http://www.playbillradio.com/podcast/podcast.html?item_id=1389

 

# # # #

 

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS IS THE BIG WINNER THIS SPRING ON BROADWAY

BROADWAY’S BEST REVIEWED PLAY IS ALREADY

THE MOST HONORED PRODUCTION OF THE SEASON

 

WINNER!  NEW YORK DRAMA CRITICS’ CIRCLE AWARD

WINNER! OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

WINNER! DRAMA DESK AWARD

WINNER! THEATER WORLD AWARD

 

AND

 

NOMINATED FOR SEVEN TONY AWARDS INCLUDING

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY AND BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY!

 

ALAN AYCKBOURN’S COMEDY TRILOGY

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

 

DIRECTED BY

MATTHEW WARCHUS

 

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION FROM THE OLD VIC IN LONDON

NOW PLAYING AT BROADWAY’S CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE THEATRE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, the comedy trilogy by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Matthew Warchus, has been nominated for seven 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus), Best Featured Actor in a Play (Stephen Mangan, Paul Ritter), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Jessica Hynes, Amanda Root), and Best Set Design of a Play (Rob Howell).  

 

The production is the winner of three Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus) and Outstanding Ensemble (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root).  

 

The cast has also been honored with a Drama Desk Award for Distinguished Ensemble, a Theatre World special award and a special citation from the NY Drama Critics’ Circle, shared with director Matthew Warchus

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is also nominated for five Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Revival of a Play.  

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS opened Thursday, April 23 at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue) earning the best reviews of any play this season.

 

 

The production plays a limited engagement through July 25. 

 

The first Broadway revival of Ayckbourn’s masterpiece features the original heralded company from The Old Vic: Amelia Bullmore (Ruth), Jessica Hynes (Annie), Stephen Mangan (Norman), Ben Miles (Tom), Paul Ritter (Reg) and Amanda Root (Sarah). 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS comprises three full length plays – Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden.  Each individual play offers a view of one comically catastrophic weekend, shared by six spouses and in-laws, at the family house in the country. And while each play is complete on its own terms, by viewing all three plays (in any order), the audience is able, detective-like, to piece together all of the hidden secrets and lies, the outrageous, hilarious and shocking interactions, which occurred over the weekend. And there are some wonderful and brilliant surprises!

 

The production is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by David Howe, music by Gary Yershon and sound by Simon Baker for Autograph

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS trilogy is performed in repertory.  The schedule is as follows:  

 

Tuesday at 7:00 PM                 Round and Round the Garden

Wednesday at 2:00 PM            Table Manners

Wednesday at 8:00 PM            Living Together

Thursday at 8:00 PM               Round and Round the Garden

Friday at 8:00 PM                    Table Manners

Saturday at 11:30 AM             Table Manners

Saturday at 3:30 PM                Living Together

Saturday at 8:00 PM                Round and Round the Garden

 

Trilogy performances are also scheduled on Sunday, May 17 and Sunday, June 28, schedule as on Saturdays. 

 

 

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.

 

Tickets are on sale through Telecharge at 212-239-6200, at  www.telecharge.com and at the Circle in the Square box office (235 West 50th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).

 

# # # #

 

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com 

 

AMELIA BULLMORE (Ruth) Stage credits include: The Thickness of Skin, Road and The Queen and I, all at the Royal Court, Inadmissible Evidence at the National Theatre and A View from the Bridge at the Manchester Royal Exchange.  TV: “Whistleblowers,” “State of Play,” “I’m Still Alan Partridge,” “Linda Green” and as “Coronation Street” regular Stephanie Barnes.  Film: Mrs. Dalloway, Festival.

 

JESSICA HYNES (Annie) co-wrote and co-starred in “Spaced” on Channel 4, which won her the Best Female Comedy Newcomer Award at the British Comedy Awards in 2000.  She was nominated for the BAFTA Best Actress Award for the film Tomorrow La Scala and was nominated for the 2003 Best Performance in a Supporting Role Olivier Award for The Night Heron at the Royal Court.  Other theatre credits: The Plough and the Stars and Fiddler on the Roof, both directed by Matthew Warchus at West Yorkshire Playhouse.  TV: “The Royle Family” and “Doctor Who”.  Film: Son of Rambow, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Shaun of the Dead.

 

STEPHEN MANGAN (Norman) Extensive theatre credits include: The People are Friendly at the Royal Court, Noises Off at the Piccadilly, Declan Donnellan’s production of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever at the Savoy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and School for Scandal, all for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  TV: Guillaume Secretan in “Green Wing,” “The Armando Iannucci Show,” “Lucky Jim,” “I’m Alan Partridge,” and Adrian Mole in “The Cappuccino Years”.   Film: Festival, Confetti, Billy Elliot.

 

BEN MILES (Tom) is best known in the US as Patrick in “Coupling” (BBC America). Plays for the RSC include: Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Winter’s Tale at The Young Vic. Numerous productions at The National Theatre including: Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard and Mortimer in Mary Stuart. For The Old Vic: Bolingbroke in Richard II. TV credits include: “Prime Suspect” and “The Forsyte Saga.” Films include: V for Vendetta, Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin.

 

PAUL RITTER (Reg) National Theater: The Hothouse, The Reporter, Royal Hunt of the Sun, Coram Boy, The Coast of Utopia, Howard Katz, Remembrance of Things Past, All My Sons. London: Food Chain, The Night Heron, Bluebird, Don Juan, Three Sisters, The Birthday Party, Christmas. TV: “Pulling,” “He Kills Coppers,” “City Lights,” “Instinct,” “Waking the Dead,” “Viva Blackpool,” “Nostradamus,” “Girl in the Café,” “Peterloo,” “Fields of Gold,” “Big Cat, Out of Hours.”  Film: Quantum of Solace, Son of Rambo, Hannibal Rising, On a Clear Day, The Libertine, Esther Khan, Nine Lives of Tomas Katz.

 

 

 

 

 

AMANDA ROOT (Sarah) Theatre:  The Royal Shakespeare Company: A wide range of roles including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, Nina in The Seagull, Harriet in The Man of Mode, Betty in Some Americans Abroad and Lady Macbeth. London and West End includes: Adela in The House of Bernada Alba, Cleopatra in Caesar and Cleopatra, Edith in Conversations After A Burial and Polina in Enemies. Television includes: “The Forsyte Saga,” “Anna Karenina,” “The Robber Bride,” “Love Again,” “Big Cat,” “Breaking The Code,” “The Robinsons.” Little Britain’ Film includes: Persuasion, In The West, Jane Eyre, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith

 

ALAN AYCKBOURN (Playwright) is one of England’s most treasured playwrights, author of 71 plays which have been produced in the West End, at the National Theatre or at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  They have been translated into 35 languages, and performed continually throughout the world and have received many national and international awards.  His works include Relatively Speaking, Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, How the Other Half Loves, Just Between Ourselves, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval, Woman in Mind, Comic Potential and Things We Do For LoveIntimate Exchanges, his eight play series revived in the UK in 2006/07, transferred to New York as part of the Brits Off-Broadway Festival, with Time Magazine voting it one of the ten best productions of 2007.

 

MATTHEW WARCHUS (Director) Broadway credits: Yasmina Reza’s Art and Life (x) 3, Boeing-Boeing, Follies, True West receiving three Tony and two Drama Desk nominations. Off-Broadway: Ms. Reza’s The Unexpected Man. West End credits include: The Norman Conquests, Speed-the-Plow, God of Carnage, The Lord of the Rings, The Life of Stuff; Art, True West, The Unexpected Man, Our House, Tell Me on a Sunday and Endgame. At the National Theatre: Volpone, Life (x) 3, Buried Child. At the RSC: Henry V, The Devil is an Ass, Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale. Operas for Opera North, The Royal Opera and English National Opera include: Troilus and Cressida, The Rake’s Progress, Falstaff and Cosi Fan Tutte.

 

ROB HOWELL (Scenery and Costume Designer) has worked extensively in theatre and opera within the UK and abroad including working at The Royal Court, The Almeida, The Donmar Warehouse, The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Welsh National Opera and The Royal Opera House. Rob received the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Set Designer for Troilus and Cressida (National Theatre), Vassa (Almeida) and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company). He was nominated for Best Costume Design in the same year for Troilus and Cressida and Money (National Theatre) and for Best Set Designer in 1996 for The Glass Menagerie (the Donmar and Comedy Theatre), 1997 for Chips With Everything (NT) and 2001 for The Caretaker (Comedy Theatre). In 2006, he received an Olivier Award for Best Set Design for Hedda Gabler (Almeida and West End) as well as a Best Costume Design nomination. This year he was nominated for an Olivier Award in both Set and Costume design categories for The Lord of the Rings (West End).

 

THE OLD VIC (Originating Theater) The Old Vic is one of the best-known theatres in the world. Since 2004, The Old Vic Theatre Company, led by Kevin Spacey, has produced over 20 shows including Speed-The-Plow, The Entertainer, All About My Mother, The Norman Conquests and most recently Dancing at Lughnasa. The Company was last on Broadway in 2007 with A Moon for the Misbegotten.  This year, they co-produced The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale under the banner of The Bridge Project. This collaboration will produce two classics each year, until 2011, all directed by Sam Mendes, playing at The Old Vic, BAM and touring internationally.  The Old Vic also runs an Education and Community program and mentors young theatre practitioners in the UK and the US.

# # # #

 

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com

THEATRE WORLD AWARD WINNERS

2008 – 2009

THEATRE WORLD AWARDS

The Theatre World Award Winners were announced today.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 2, 2009.

 

 

 

Colin Hanks, currently appearing as ‘Mike Clark’ in 33 VARIATIONS has won a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in the production.

 

 

Condola Rashad, currently making her New York theatrical debut in MTC’s production of Lynn Nottage’s RUINED, has received a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of ‘Sophie.’

 

 

Geoffrey Rush, currently earning raves for his performance in EXIT THE KING has won a for his Broadway debut performance as ‘King Berenger.’  Rush also translated the play with director Neil Armfield.

 

 

The cast of THE NORMAN CONQUESTS (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root) will receive a special award from the Theater World Awards. 

 

 

 

 

TO READ THE COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES, VISIT: http://tinyurl.com/oobdss

OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS WINNERS

2008 – 2009

OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS

The Outer Critics Circle Award Winners were announced Today.

The awards ceremony will take place on May 21, 2009.

 

 

 

 

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN won the Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Award (David Pearse).

 

 

GOD OF CARNAGE has won Outstanding New Broadway Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play (Marcia Gay Harden).

 

 

EXIT THE KING has won Outstanding Actor in a Play (Geoffrey Rush).

 

 

HUMOR ABUSE’s Lorenzo Pisoni has won Outstanding Solo Performance.

 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS has won Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus) and Outstanding Ensemble Performance (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root).

 

 

RUINED won the Outstanding Off-Broadway Play.

 

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL has won Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Brian d’Arcy James), Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster), Outstanding Set Design (Tim Hatley), Outstanding Costume Design (Tim Hatley).

 

 

 

 

TO READ THE COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES, VISIT: http://www.outercritics.org/Awards.aspx

HIGHLIGHTS OF A STAR-FILLED 08-09 BROADWAY SEASON

2008-2009 Broadway Season Officially Ends

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF AN HISTORIC STAR-FILLED YEAR,

PACKED WITH PLAYS,  INCLUDES: 

 

The Seagull • A Man For All Seasons •  To Be Or Not To Be • All My Sons • White Christmas 

 Shrek •  Pal Joey •  Soul of Shaolin•  The American Plan  • Hedda Gabler •  33 Variations 

God Of Carnage •  Impressionism •  Exit The King • Mary Stuart •  The Norman Conquests 

The Philanthropist • Accent on Youth •  Waiting for Godot 

 

as well as the stars:

Joan Allen •  Matthew Broderick •  Stockard Channing    Jeff Daniels   Hope Davis

Jane Fonda    Sutton Foster   James Gandolfini •  John Glover •  John Goodman

Colin Hanks   Marcia Gay Harden • Katie Holmes   Jeremy Irons  •  Bill Irwin

Brian d’Arcy James   Nathan Lane •   Frank Langella John Lithgow   Samantha Mathis

Jan Maxwell   Janet McTeer •  Mary Loiuse Parker    David Hyde Pierce

Lily Rabe  David Rasche   Matthew Risch     Mercedes Ruehl    Geoffrey Rush

Susan Sarandon •  Peter Sarsgaard   Christopher Sieber  Kristin Scott Thomas

Harriet Walter • Steven Weber •  Dianne Wiest   Patrick Wilson

 

Visit the link below for a 2.5 minute glance back at the stars and shows this season

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ1ZH2TZNT8

 

 

Here are some highlights from the season. 

 

This was one of the busiest, starriest and eclectic Broadway seasons in years, featuring productions and performances that will make it one to remember.   Starting in October with The Seagull starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard, through last night’s Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Waiting for Godot starring Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman and John Glover, 43 productions have opened on Broadway, including 10 new musicals, nine new plays, four musical revivals, 16 play revivals and five “special events.” 

 

Fall kicked off with the Royal Court’s acclaimed production of Chekhov’s The Seagull directed Ian Rickson, examining the romantic entanglements and regrets of a group of artists gathered on a Russian estate. 

 

Roundabout Theatre Company began autumn exploring politics, religion and power with Frank Langella in A Man for All Seasons directed by Doug Hughes, and wrapped up 2008 with Stockard Channing , Martha Plimpton  and Matthew Risch in Pal Joey, directed by Joe Mantello.  Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler starring Mary Louise Parker rang in the new year at Roundabout, in an adaptation by Christopher Shinn.

 

 

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, asked audiences to reexamine the costs of war when it returned to Broadway this fall, directed by Simon McBurney and starring John Lithgow, Patrick Wilson, Dianne Wiest and Katie Holmes. 

 

Snow fell early on Broadway when Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, a new stage adaptation of the classic film, opened in November starring Stephen Bogardus, Kerry O’Malley, Jeffry Denman and Meredith Patterson, featuring direction by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreography by Randy Skinner.

 

The Great White Way saw green in December when Shrek The Musical landed at the Broadway Theatre starring Brian d’Arcy James as the loveable ogre and Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona. Also starring Daniel Breaker, Christopher Sieber and John Tartaglia, the new musical is directed by Jason Moore and written by David Lindsay Abaire (book & lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (musical) with choreography by Josh Prince.   Flying monks were spotted a few blocks south when Soul of Shaolin played a limited run at the Minskoff.

 

Manhattan Theatre Club opened their season with To Be Or Not to Be, directed by Casey Nicholaw and began the new year in the Catskill Mountains of the 1960s with Richard Greenberg’s The American Plan starring Mercedes Ruehl and Lily Rabe.  They wrapped up their season with Samuel Raphaelson’s on-and-off stage love story, Accent on Youth starring David Hyde Pierce and directed by Daniel Sullivan.

 

This spring, Jane Fonda returned to Broadway after 46 years to confront an obsession with Beethoven and to settle with her on stage daughter played by Samantha Mathis in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, alongside Colin Hanks and Zach Grenier.  Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden tried to make nice (and failed) in Yasmina Reza’s comedy God of Carnage directed by Matthew Warchus.  Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen returned to Broadway after long absences to star in Michael Jacobs’ examination of art and love in Impressionism, directed by Tony Award-winner Jack O’Brien.

 

Fictitious monarchs Geoffrey Rush, Susan Sarandon, and Lauren Ambrose – and unappreciated servant Andrea Martin – added their regal presence to the Rialto in Eugene Ionesco’s Exit the King under the direction of Broadway newcomer Neil Armfield.  Historic British royalty was welcomed when Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer took to the stage in the Donmar Warehouse production of Mary Stuart, directed by Phyllida Lloyd.  And The Norman Conquests, Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy, showcased a somewhat more middle class group of Brits, helmed by the busy Matthew Warchus.

 

Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist , directed by David Grindley and starring Matthew Broderick and Steven Weber, looked at the empty, insular lives of college intellectuals.  Appropriately closing the season is Samuel Beckett’s historic Waiting for Godot starring Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman and John Glover, and directed by Anthony Page.  It tells of two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone or something to explain life’s meaning – which, of course, never shows up.  Vladimir and Estragon might be relieved to know that as of yesterday, this year’s season has arrived at its end.

 

Please visit the link below for a 2.5 minute long glance back at the stars and shows this season  www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ1ZH2TZNT8

 

 

#  #  #  # 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS IN THE NEWS

THE OLD VIC PRODUCTION OF ALAN AYCKBOURN’S

COMEDY TRILOGY, DIRECTED BY MATTHEW WARCHUS,

OPENS TO RAVES AT CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE

The Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, directed by Matthew Warchus and featuring the original company from The Old Vic, recently opened on Broadway to raves at Circle in the Square (235 West 50th Street).  The production plays a limited run through Saturday, July 25. 

Here are some recent stories about the production:

Bergen Record

A Singular Connection with the audience

By Robert Feldberg

April 26, 2009

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, the extraordinarily funny revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s play trilogy, is a tough proposition for actors in more ways than one.

First, it requires unusual endurance.

Each of the full-length plays in the trilogy, which opened Thursday at Broadway’s Circle in the Square, is performed weeknights on a rotating schedule. That’s no problem.

On Saturdays, though, all three of the comedies – “Table Manners,” “Living Together” and “Round and Round the Garden” – are performed, in a day-into-night marathon.

“It can get exhausting,” said cast member Stephen Mangan.

While the 36-year-old British actor said remembering what play he’s in, and which lines are spoken when, is no longer an issue – “We did the show in London for four months, so all that is part of my DNA now” – the nature of the plays makes Saturdays an uphill climb.

All three tell the same story – about three couples spending a disastrously awful country weekend together – from different perspectives. Since the plays can be seen separately, the plot premise must be fully laid out in each one.

“By the third play, you really need to find the energy to get through the retelling of the facts,” said Mangan, who plays Norman, an egotistical serial seducer. “But just looking around at the 800 people watching gives you a jolt of energy. There’s nowhere to hide; you’re surrounded by the faces of the audience.”

New York Observer

Will New York fall to The Norman Conquests?

By John Heilpern

April 29, 2009

And so to the burning question: Which one of Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy of vintage 1973 English comedies, THE NORMAN CONQUESTS at Circle in the Square theater, must you see?

The first, Table Manners, is my favorite. Not only is it consistently, irresistibly funny; it contains a dinner-party scene so blissfully hilarious that I was on the floor laughing.

All three plays take place during the same absurdly traumatic country-house weekend. They can be seen separately and in no particular order, but they unfold chronologically. They reveal what’s happening from different perspectives, so that when a character exits the dining room during the first play, we see what he’s really up to in the sitting room during the second (Living Together). Or for that matter, who’s failing to seduce whom in the garden during the third (Round and Round the Garden).

Metro

Stormin’ Norman

Trilogy of romantic comedies turns into riotous affair

By Mike Bracken
April 27, 2009

That Norman is a busy fellow. In the course of three related plays in three related places during one hilarious weekend, he seduces three related women with varying degrees of success. 

Norman was last seen on these shores more than 30 years ago, when a starry American cast brought THE NORMAN CONQUESTS to life on Broadway.  This time, at Circle in the Square, Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy features an entirely British company, fresh from a much-lauded run in London.  While there are no household names among them, these actors, superbly directed by Matthew Warchus, provide some of the best ensemble work you’re likely to see on either side of the Atlantic.

American Theater Web

The Norman Conquests – A Comedic Trilogy Triumphs on Broadway

By Andy Propst

April 24, 2009

When was the last time you heard laughter greet a character who simply walked on stage? Here’s an even rarer occurrence: exit applause for leaving the stage carrying a wastepaper basket. Believe it or not, you’ll find this happening in Living Together, one of the three plays that comprise Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious and exhilarating trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, which opened last night at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

I use this moment as an example of the delightful cumulative effect of seeing all three plays in this nearly 8-hour cycle. For audience members who have seen another of the plays, Table Manners, the moment in “Living” has already been set up. In “Manners,” Reg (Paul Ritter) is ordered by his wife Sarah (Amanda Root) to go into the living room to find out what’s happening. He does so, and in “Manners,” he returns sheepishly with the trash-basket. There’s a laugh, of course, when this takes place, but when theatergoers have moved onto the second play, the effect is simply hysterical.

Similar moments abound in the plays, and can be appreciated regardless of the order in which theatergoers have seen them (“Conquests” can be taken in during all-day Marathon performances on Saturdays or on separate days during the week).

Good Day New York

Interview with Kevin Spacey

April 27, 2009

Kevin Spacey discusses The Old Vic production of THE NORMAN CONQUESTS.

NYPost.com

Backstage with Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey gives The Post backstage access to the opening night of THE NORMAN CONQUESTS.

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

Playbill.com

Brief Encounter with Stephen Mangan

By Robert Simonson

Meet Norman. Of THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, that is.

Norman is the center of all the comic consternation taking place in the trilogy of interlocking plays that is Alan Ayckbourn’s 1973 opus of love sought, love won and love spurned, connections made and connections broken, between six men and women, most of them somehow related, during an emotionally harrowing weekend at a country home in England. The London-born production has been uniformly hailed by critics and is selling briskly. Playing the incorrigible Norman, an assistant librarian whose libido needs no assistance, is Stephen Mangan, a well-known British actor who is making his Broadway debut. Mangan talked to Playbill.com about his life as a dog.

Playbill.com: Have you ever done anything like this – a play trilogy?
Stephen Mangan: No, I don’t think I have. It’s quite daunting, to pick up that wedge of script at the beginning and read through it. It’s very exciting as well, to spend that much time with one character.

Playbill.com: How did you handle it? Did you rehearse one play at a time?
SM: What we did is we elongated the plays into one long, six-hour play, with all the scenes in chronological order and we worked through the play a couple times like that. Sometimes you exit one play and enter into another play. It’s great to rehearse it knowing exactly what state of mind you are in as you crossing from the living room into the dining room, for example, or from the dining room to the garden. Then we jumped back and started rehearsing the individual plays. It’s something to put these jigsaws in your head at first, it’s a bit overwhelming. It’s not only the sheer amount of lines you have to memorize, but you have to map the whole weekend. Once you get on top of it, though, it’s exhilarating.

Broadway.com

Opening Night: The Norman Conquests

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, a trilogy of plays, arrives from London with a crackerjack ensemble.

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

www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com 

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 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS IN THE NEWS

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS IN THE NEWS

THE OLD VIC PRODUCTION OF ALAN AYCKBOURN’S

COMEDY TRILOGY, DIRECTED BY MATTHEW WARCHUS,

OPENS TOMORROW NIGHT AT CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE

 

 

The Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, directed by Matthew Warchus and featuring the original company from The Old Vic, opens tomorrow night on Broadway at Circle in the Square (235 West 50th Street). 

 

Here are some recent stories about the production:

 

The New York Times

Ayckbourn, the Juggler, in Triple Time

By Sarah Lyall

April 22, 2009

 

LONDON – Alan Ayckbourn has written more than 70 plays, which makes him something like the Joyce Carol Oates of British theater. “If you didn’t write so much, they’d realize you were quite good,” the director Peter Hall once told him wryly.

 

Skip to next paragraphBut productivity has never really hurt Mr. Ayckbourn, who turned 70 on Easter Sunday and whose works are performed, seemingly continuously, across Britain and beyond. In March he received an Olivier Award for lifetime contribution to the theater and also wrote his latest play, which took him his customary two weeks.

 

He is about to start work on an adaptation of “Uncle Vanya.” One of his plays, “Woman in Mind,” is currently running in the West End; another, the 1973 “Norman Conquests” trilogy, is to open on Thursday at the Circle in the Square in New York, with its London cast, after a triumphant run at the Old Vic.

 

The New York Post

Secrets of his ‘Conquests’

By Michael Riedel

April 17, 2009

 

Alan Ayckbourn has written 73 plays, about twice that of England’s second most prolific play wright, one William Shakespeare.

 

Many critics think “The Norman Conquests,” a comic trilogy set in a middle-class suburb, is Ayckbourn’s finest play. That verdict is certainly bolstered by a terrific revival from London that opens next week at Circle in the Square.

 

The trilogy, which Tom Stoppard playfully calls “The Coast of Suburbia,” centers on Norman, a disheveled assistant librarian with a powerful libido.

Ayckbourn, who just turned 70, can’t attend his Broadway opening. He’s recovering from a stroke and says, “I need to conserve my energy.”

 

He answered a few questions about “The Norman Conquests” via e-mail.

 

 

The New York Post

Conquering ‘Conquests’

By Barbara Hoffman

April 18, 2009

 

It’s 10 a.m. Do you know where theater mavens are? Probably girding for the marathon –

the three-plays-in-one-day fun fest that is “The Norman Conquests.”

 

Alan Ayckbourn’s ’73 trilogy about an incorrigible seducer – Norman, the horny librarian (Stephen Mangan) – just moved into Broadway’s Circle in the Square. You can see it one play at a time, or immerse yourself in all three on a Saturday. And while there are bathroom breaks aplenty, even die-hards pale at the prospect of too much of a good thing. (“The Coast of Utopia,” anyone?) No worries. Here’s how to enjoy nonstop “Norman.”

 

 

Today Show

Interview with Kevin Spacey

April 21, 2009

 

Today’s Matt Lauer talks to Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey about the Broadway revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s “The Norman Conquests,” originally produced at Spacey’s Old Vic Theatre. 

 

 

CW11 Morning News

Interview with Kevin Spacey and Jessica Hynes

April 7, 2009

 

Actors Kevin Spacey and Jessica Hynes stopped by the studio to talk about their roles in the new Broadway play “The Norman Conquests”. Spacey is the artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre in London, where the production originated, and Hynes stars as Annie.

 

 

WOR Radio

The Joan Hamburg Show – Kevin Spacey and Jessica Hynes

 

Joan Hamburg sits down with Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey and British star Jessica Hynes about the new Broadway show The Norman Conquests

 

WNYC Radio

The Leonard Lopate Show – Kevin Spacey and Jessica Hynes

 

Old Vic Theater artistic director Kevin Spacey and actress Jessica Hynes talk to WNYC’s Leonard Lopate about Alan Ayckbourn’s comedic trilogy “The Norman Conquests.” Listen to the entire interview here.

 

 

WQXR Radio

People and the Arts: Kevin Spacey

 

Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy of comedies “The Norman Conquests”, is now on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre, with the original Old Vic cast. Annie Bergen talks with Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of the Old Vic, about bringing the plays to New York and producing them as they were originally intended, “in the round”.

 

 

Broadway.com

Six Pack: Introducing The Norman Conquests Sextet

By Smith Galtney

 

They knocked ’em dead at the Old Vic Theatre in London last fall. Now the cast of the first Broadway revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy trilogy The Norman Conquests is ready to charm New York City. In preparation for the show’s opening night, Broadway.com organized an informal meet and greet to help you get to know the gang. So don your weekend casual attire, grab yourself a Pimm’s Cup or some parsnips and dandelion wine. It’s homemade!

 

 

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

 

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www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com