The Norman Conquests are considered the masterworks of Alan Ayckbourn, our foremost comedy dramatist. Julian Rhind-tutt, as the love and sex-mad philanderer, and Helen Baxendale, his prey, lead a stellar cast through these three interlinked, deeply-serious comedies. They can be listened to in any order, or one play may be enjoyed on its own.
Music arranged and performed by Stephen Benham
Directed by Peter Kavanagh
Leading a distinguished cast, Julian Rhind-tutt plays the brilliant but mercurial Norman, sewing his seed of discord over a weekend in the country.
The new productions, their first broadcast on Radio 4, coincide with Ayckbourn's 5 new interlinked stage plays.
With Norman Conquests, 'Table Manners' is traditionally played first. For Radio 4, we're broadcasting Living Together first, to show Norman's lechery and mad drunkenness at full tilt, so annoying to the others, and in the middle of it, his phone call summoning his wife, with whom he is secretly in love, to witness the carnage he has wrought on the household - on the women in particular!
Annie (Helen Baxendale) cares for ailing Mother in the family home. She has arranged a weekend away and asked brother Reg (JEFF RAWLE) and his wife Sarah (CLARE LAWRENCE-MOODY) to care for Mother, aided by Annie's shy neighbour and admirer Tom (NIGEL PLANER).
Annie has secretly planned the break with her brother-in-law, Norman (JULIAN RHIND- TUTT) married to Annie's scary sister Ruth (TRACY-ANN OBERMAN). But now, as Annie prepares to depart, Norman turns up prematurely, messing up her plans and igniting the fireworks!