Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Local Players to stage reading of uncommon comedy

The Royal Larkspur Players will present “The Norman Conquests” at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum from July 7-10. Courtesy photo

The Royal Larkspur Players will present performances of part 1 of Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy "The Norman Conquests" at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum on Thursday, July 7, Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10, at 7 p.m. The free performances, with donations appreciated, will be a benefit for the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

The Royal Larkspur Players will be one of the few theater companies in the nation to bring this trilogy to life.

Parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy will be presented over the coming year at the nexStage Theatre. Though all three plays take place with the same cast and they are set in the same English country home, they are all distinct works—one need not see all to enjoy any one of them!

Take two sisters—Annie (stuck caring for her invalid mother) and Ruth (an acid-tongued executive) and their brother, Reg (a boyish real estate agent). Add a dash of Tom, Annie's neighbor and clueless, might-be love interest. Mix in Sarah, Reg's high-strung, overbearing wife. Sprinkle on a garnish of Norman, Ruth's husband, an assistant librarian and a magnet for every woman in sight. Bake them together on a summer weekend in the ancestral family home in rural England, and serve up a stew of hilarious misadventures, resentments and longings.

Not only are the individual plays each a delicious meal, the three make for a theater lover's banquet. All are set on the same weekend, in the same location, with the same characters. The timing of the plays intersects ingeniously; some take place simultaneously and some are set just before or after the others.

"The Norman Conquests" is one of the most unusual series of plays ever performed, and was winner of the Tony Award for best 2009 revival.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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