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The Norman Conquests: A Trilogy of Plays
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The Norman Conquests: A Trilogy of Plays

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  26 reviews

This brilliant comic trilogy details the amorous exploits of Norman, assistant librarian, whose one aim is to make the women of his life happy—these women being, as it happens, three sisters, one of them his wife, who can’t wear contact lenses because “life with Norman is full of unexpected eye movements.” Each play stands uproariously on its own yet interlocks with the ot

Paperback, An Evergreen Book, 226 pages
Published January 22nd 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1973)
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Relatively Speaking by Alan AyckbournThe Norman Conquests by Alan AyckbournIntimate Exchanges, Volume II by Alan AyckbournWoman in Mind by Alan AyckbournMan Of The Moment by Alan Ayckbourn
Best of Alan Ayckbourn
2nd out of 56 books — 2 voters
The Quiet American by Graham GreeneAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleQuo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Q is for quality
263rd out of 275 books — 26 voters

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There isn't too much to say about The Norman Conquests because it is something that absolutely must be experienced. I dove head-first into reading the trilogy after seeing all three parts on Broadway and found it to be just as joyously hilarious to read as it was to see, and I even caught myself audibly laughing at moments I hadn't during the actual play, and I was practically doubled-over in laughter for the duration of the live performance. This gem of a trilogy seems to be tragically unknown, ...more
If you are looking for a laugh and enjoy dry, British humor... this trilogy is for you. Each play takes place over the same period of time, but in different rooms. While each play stands alone, if you take the time to read all three, you see and interesting build on the plot and rich character development. Ayckbourn cleverly shows the reader how important off-stage action can be.
A trilogy of plays, (Table Manners, Living Together, & Round and Round the Garden,) that will make you laugh many, many times. The brilliance of these plays is that they all take place on the same day during the same hours, just in three separate areas of the house, yet they all work on their own as well. If I had to pick the one I thought was best out of the three I would chose Round and Round the Garden. As for the trilogy itself, the jokes are great, the timing is wonderful, and the chara ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A weekend of tangled relationships begins in the dining room of a country house. Stars Robin Herford and Diane Bull.
Witty and enjoyable. The Norman Conquests consists of a trilogy of plays, each of which takes place in a different room in a country house over a single weekend. "Table Manners" takes place in the dining room, "Living Together" takes place in the living room, and "Round and Round in the Garden" takes place in the garden. As a reader (of the book) or audience member (of the play), you, by the end, see everything that happened over the weekend--although, of course, the characters do not.

The BBC p
Simi Kaur
A very well written play that is very respectable.
Therese Ptak
Something that struck me about these series of plays is how incredibly funny they were! It's a first for me because prior to reading these plays I had felt that plays were rather boring while musicals were funny. But this turned that concept promptly on it's ear. It's a bit hard to get the jist of what's going on and i feel that seeing it performed on the stage would eliminate some of the confusion but the characters are fun and the situations can be side-splitting. If you hear of a dramatic pro ...more
Funny and uncomfortable
Ann Canann
Side sidesplitting funny! This is Ayckbourn's Pulitzer Prize winning trilogy, "The Norman Conquests" which follows six characters through an increasingly destablizing week end.

In the first play, "Table Manners," Norman sets off to seduce his sister-in-law.

In the second play, "Living Together," he gets drunk on home-made wine and everyone goes down to defeat except Norman.

In the third play, "Round and Round the Garden." in mother's overgrown English garden, the satirical masterpiece comes to a h
Dec 27, 2013 Jillian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jillian by: Cece
What an undertaking Ayckbourn pulls off with this trilogy. All three plays depict the same weekend of domestic misadventures from different areas of the house. Each play enriches the others without feeling repetitive, and any of the three could also stand entirely on its own for viewers only in town for one night. Despite featuring few to no likeable characters, the plays themselves are charming and hilarious. This is my second Ayckbourn collection and I can't wait to discover more, and hopefull ...more
Such an original piece of theatre. Each play may claim to stand on its own, but seeing all three really raises this work to new heights. Each character has their moment to shine across the set, while still finding their place within each respective story. I can't imagine how difficult it was to write this trilogy, but I'm glad I've seen it on stage.
Corey Murray
Each of these three plays can exist on its own, for they each tell the same story with the same characters; but reading all three gives you a much deeper appreciation for the complexity of the situation, the hilarity of the situation, for Norman the protagonist's skills as a charmer, and for Ayckbourn's talents as a playwrite.
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Funny trio of Ayckbourn plays that can be read in any order, filled with the usual painful English middle class misunderstandings and misfortunes that Ayckbourn observes so sharply.
One of the most hilarious trilogy of plays I have ever had the joy to watch. Reading the play brought back memories of when I saw them and it's an experience everyone should have
Adam Tramposh
Palatably frivolous – well suited for train commutes. Central premise: people are intolerable to one another, no matter how you frame the narrative.
The Norman Conquests was written in the 1970's, but it's a timeless plot, and I enjoyed the character development of this trilogy of plays.
Ayne Ray
Sharp, witty, and thoroughly amusing, each play in this trilogy stands on its own merit but works best when read as a whole.
The Englishman killing himself laughing on the Madrid Metro was me, reading this. A modern masterpiece.
Clever trilogy of interlocking plays from a great British dramatist. Well worth a read.
Great concept-wonderful characters-fantastic construction-immense fun!
This trilogy is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde. I enjoyed it!
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Read for class
BBC Recording
Emily Lane
Emily Lane marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
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Sir Alan Ayckbourn is a popular and prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-three full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal Nat ...more
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