Friday, July 10, 2009

One More Time Round and Round the Garden

So in spite of the recession and being broke as a joke on coke, I decided that for my birthday I would treat myself to the final marathon of The Norman Conquests on July 26. The Tony-winning revival, imported from the Old Vic, ends its limited run on that Sunday, and I will be there to cheer on one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled. The trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn tells the story of a dysfunctionally melancholy family over the course of a single weekend some time in the 1970s. Each successive play takes place in a separate part of the house, creating a gigantic theatrical puzzle of characters and situations, all based in devastating truth yet all utterly hilarious.

As you may recall, I attended a marathon of the show back in May along with Steve on Broadway his partner Doug. Turned out to be one of the greatest theatrical experiences I have ever had (and you couldn't ask for better company). Exhilarating, cathartic, alive - it's everything you would want out of the live theatre experience and then some.

They say you can see any one of the three plays in any particular order (or two, or just one). I gotta tell you: it's worth it to see all three, especially in the marathon setting. The way I look at it, it's not so much three plays as one giant play separated into three acts. And for what it's worth, I would have loved to have sat through a whole other play. The only melancholy I personally felt that day was that it had to end. The characters and the actors playing them are vibrant, fascinating and everything, especially Matthew Warchus' staging, is just brilliant (and his Tony should have been for this).

If you haven't had the privilege of seeing The Norman Conquests, I implore you to do so. There are many discounts available, but believe you me, if there weren't this one would be worth full price. And for those of you have already had the privilege and understand why I have to go back one last time, I hope to see you at the final marathon.


The DJF said...

While I was in NYC recently I got to see one of the Norman Conquest (the garden one) plays, but was sad that I didn't get to see the other 2. I really enjoyed it but the others didn't fit into my schedule. Boo hiss.

Kevin Daly said...

As long as you got to see one, it's all right.

It's ideal to see them all, but understandably not everyone can work that out.