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Comic masterpieces open at Ensemble Theatre

Alan Ayckbourn’s award-winning trilogy The Norman Conquests will open at Ensemble Theatre in October with a dream cast and, says Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre, it is one of the most loved comic masterpieces ever written. There’s usually a performance of The Norman Conquests somewhere in the world.

These three plays forming the trilogy - Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden - were written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1973 in less than a fortnight.

The Norman Conquests consists of three parallel plays, all following one very dysfunctional family on a summer weekend in an English country house. At the centre is Norman – romantic, philanderer and… assistant librarian – and the inevitable havoc he wreaks with his flailing romantic ambitions towards his wife Ruth, her sister Annie and his sister-in-law Sarah.

The trilogy traces the unravelling of Norman from a slightly different, and often simultaneous, perspective – Table Manners from the dining room, Living Together from the sitting room and Round and Round the Garden from the bramble-filled garden.

Norman doesn’t exactly look like one of the world’s great lovers. There’s no square jaw or twinkle in his eye. Over the course of a weekend he has a simple mission: to disrupt, inspire and make his extended family happy. Whether they like it or not.

A rare treat of theatrical ingenuity, the three plays tell and retell the turbulently entertaining story with increasing nuance and humour as offstage conversations and antics from one play appear onstage in another.

Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli, NSW, 2061

Previews from 19 October, Opening Night Table Manners November 8. Season until 12 January 2019; Living Together 26 October to 12 January; Round and Round the Garden 2 November to 12 January. Running time: Approx 2 hours including interval

Prices: $43-$73 (booking charges may apply). Bookings: 02 9929 0644 or

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