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Norman Conquests

By Tara Chance

Rejoice that this is not your family. Based on Alan Ayckbourn's painfully comical plays, many will remember this 1970s production from PBS. This hilarious trilogy of plays is as memorable for its narrative technique as for its biting portrayal of a disastrous family weekend in the British countryside. Each of the three plays is set in a different part of the same house during one three-day weekend--Table Manners is set in the dining room; Living Together is in the living room; and Round and Round the Garden, is, naturally, outside--and they can be viewed in any order.

The premise: when his planned tryst with his sister-in-law Annie goes awry, the irrepressibly charming Norman (Tom Conti) works at wooing not only Annie, but his sister-in-law Sarah (Penelope Keith of To the Manor Born) and wife Ruth as well. Once Sarah's husband Reg (Richard Briers of Good Neighbors) and the veterinarian next door get involved, well, it is a spectacle to behold--a classically cynical theatrical masterpiece with a plethora of memorable one-liners and a hilarious conclusion.


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Cast: Penelope Keith, Richard Briers, Tom Conti, Penelope Wilton, David Troughton, Fiona Walker

Network: BBC

Genre: Comedy

Theme song

Image courtesy of BBC

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