Alan Ayckbourn’s THE NORMAN CONQUESTS to be staged in-the-round
Casting announced for Blanche McIntyre’s production
18 September – 28 October, Festival Theatre
The cast has been announced for Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, which – in a first for Chichester Festival Theatre – will be staged in-the-round.
Forming the ensemble company for Blanche McIntyre’s production, which runs from 18 September – 28 October, are Jonathan Broadbent, Trystan Gravelle, Sarah Hadland, John Hollingworth,Hattie Ladbury and Jemima Rooper.
This will be the Festival Theatre’s first ever ‘in-the-round’ production. A bank of seating on what is normally the rear part of stage will allow the play’s action to be seen from all sides.
THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is a trilogy of interconnecting plays – Table Manners, Living Togetherand Round and Round the Garden – which look at the events of one family weekend from hilariously different viewpoints. Each play can be enjoyed as a single performance or seen as one event in any sequence, either over different days or on trilogy days.
With pungent wit and sparkling ingenuity, Alan Ayckbourn fashions the thwarted desires and bittersweet absurdity of family life into a comic masterpiece.
An English country house. A summer weekend. A family gathering. Norman would like to seduce Annie, though he’s married to her sister, Ruth. He’s also got his eye on Sarah, though she’s married to Reg – who is Annie and Ruth’s brother. Tom, from next door, isn’t married to anyone: though he too nurses secret hopes beneath his stoical surface.
Saturday. 6pm. The dining room. Where no-one is looking forward to Annie’s limp salad, or her mother’s lethal home-made dandelion, parsnip or carrot wine.
Saturday. 6.30pm. The sitting room. With a wind-up gramophone, a pouffe, magazines, and a very, very inviting fur rug.
Round and Round the Garden
Saturday. 5.30pm. The garden. It’s not the only thing that’s looking wild and very, very tangled.
Alan Ayckbourn is Britain’s most prolific and popular contemporary playwright with over eighty plays to his name. Recent productions at Chichester include Way Upstream, Absurd Person Singular and Surprises. His new play The Divide will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the Old Vic this autumn.
Jonathan Broadbent (The Tempest/RSC, My Night with Reg/Donmar Warehouse) plays Reg.
Trystan Gravelle (Mr Selfridge/ITV, Aliens/E4, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire/National Theatre) plays Norman.
Sarah Hadland (Miranda, The Moonstone/BBC, Canvas/Minerva Theatre) plays Sarah. John Hollingworth (Poldark/BBC, The Power of Yes/National Theatre) plays Tom.
Hattie Ladbury (Holby City, Call the Midwife/BBC, The Importance of Being Earnest/Festival Theatre) plays Ruth.
Jemima Rooper (One Man Two Guvnors/National Theatre, West End & Broadway, Fearless/ITV) plays Annie.
Blanche McIntyre directs at Chichester for the first time; her recent work includes Titus Andronicusand Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Seagull (Headlong/UK tour), Anouilh’s Welcome Home Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse) and Stoppard’s Arcadia (ETT).
The Norman Conquests will be designed by Simon Higlett with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Olly Fox and sound by George Dennis.
The Norman Conquests is sponsored by Conquest Bespoke Furniture and Irwin Mitchell.
Pre-Show Talk with Blanche McIntyre Monday 2 October, 5.45pm
Free but booking essential.
Post-Show Talk Monday 16 October
Stay after the performance to ask questions, meet company members and discover more. Free.
Theatre Day Wednesday 18 October, 11am
Join the creative teams and technical crew for 90 minutes of insight, demonstration and discussion on the making of the production. A Theatre Day ticket can be combined with the matinee performance for an immersive day at the Theatre. Tickets £5 (+ optional performance ticket).
Box Office 01243 781312
Tickets from £10; Norman Conquests Saver for all three plays available. Prologue tickets for 16 – 25 year olds for £5.
Press performances: Tuesday 3 October at 11am, 3pm & 7pm