The Norman Conquests: Table Manners

2 May 2009, Circle in the Square, New York

NormanTableMannersTable Manners: the events of the weekend as seen from the dining room. In which Reg finds food scarce despite having it thrown at him by Sarah…Sarah is scandalized by Annie…Annie is disappointed by men in general and Tom in particular…Tom knocks down Norman…Norman’s romantic proposals are ruined thanks to Ruth…Ruth loses her patience, her temper and her glasses…and in which everyone has trouble deciding where to sit.

This was great! I missed it when it was in London and I was so happy when I found out that it was playing in NY while I was there. So I got ‘us’ tickets to watch it for my sister’s bday 😀 It was really funny – especially the 2nd half… I just remember laughing and laughing.

Table Manners is one part of the trilogy, The Norman Conquests. It’s quite ingenious the way the trilogy works. Each play takes place in a different part of the house (so Table Manners takes place in the dining room, Round and Round the Garden in the garden and Living Together in the living room). So in one play, the character will be walking out of the dining room to go into the living room, where you then imagine if you were watching the other play, the character is walking into the room from the dining room. So the bit where Reg comes back into the dining room with a trash can from the living room… hehe you just crack up at the thought of what excuse he had to come up with to explain why he needed the trash can. hehehe.

I always find that when watching British plays (less so with American plays – sidenote: American comedy is just not funny), I find that there are bits where I miss out on cultural references i.e. some parts where people laugh so hard and I’m just like hmm why was that funny..? (hehe having to sometimes decipher the accents probably doesn’t help either!) This was still the case with this play even though I was sat amongst a (presumably) New York audience. So that’s kinda interesting. That must be what’s great for the cast though.. must be interesting to see how different audiences react (even more if you are on tour), and thus adjusting your pacing in delivering (punch)lines.

tn-500_mangan 191The cast was great. As usual, I’m really bad with names, but there was a witch from Harry Potter who was also in Confetti, Patrick from Coupling (who was hilarious! So different from his role in Coupling) and the tennis guy from Confetti. The guy who played the brother Reg was ace.

Not quite sure how one can sit through the trilogy in a day though.. one was already tiring enough! But the thing is… you can’t really have too much of a gap between watching the plays, cuz then you forget some of the scenes and connections. But man, when am I gonna have to wait til to see the other 2…?!

Hilarious and poignant. Great stuff! 😀


4 thoughts on “The Norman Conquests: Table Manners

  1. That’s a good point! I don’t remember why I didn’t add the Siu Yeh Rating … I’m losing it … I’m just not on top of my game anymore haha 🙂 Been busy dealing with the other website!

    Hey this play really sounds interesting! When are the other 2 plays going to show? Or do they all show at the same time? Me wanna watch!

    1. hey they all show at the same time.. but i didn’t have time in NY. and I have no idea if they will come to London again anytime soon. Maybe they will stop by HK! Ooh let me investigate.

  2. I doubt they’re stop by HK … if anything they have more of a chance going to Bejing / Shanghai … hmm, actually, maybe not. Maybe they’ll go to Singapore!

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