From the living room to the dining room, and finally, to the garden. This July 21st, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company presents the third installment of Alan Ayckbourn’s acclaimed comic trilogy, The Norman Conquests, and concludes the historic three-theatre collaboration that’s taken Vermont by storm.
Ayckbourn’s trilogy has been praised as a landmark of theatrical achievement, with regular revivals on Broadway, on London’s West End, and around the world. It follows the amorous exploits of Norman, assistant librarian, as he strives to make the women in his life – his wife and her two sisters – happy over the course of a riotous summer weekend. The cast of six (Caitlin Clouthier, Richard Gallagher, Ashton Heyl, Mark Light-Orr, David Mason, and Jenni Putney) become enmeshed in a Chinese puzzle of relationships that are clever, poignant, and downright hilarious.
Nearly two years in the making, The Norman Conquests collaboration is a bold attempt by three artistic directors to partner on a significant project, and to cross-pollinate audiences. Directed by Peter Hackett, Living Together launched the trilogy in April at Northern Stage’s new Barrette Center for the Arts. Dorset Theatre Festival followed up in June with Table Manners, helmed by Evan Yianoulis. Now, finally this July, the characters have arrived in Weston where Michael Berresse (Broadway’s [title of show]) will direct the third play in the trilogy, Round and Round the Garden.
Berresse says the collaborative process has been a “remarkable opportunity for audiences and artists alike to experience how personal and collaborative theatre can be.” The bonding of the cast and the creative team (designers David Arsenault, Stuart Duke, Charles Schoonmaker, Jane Shaw, and stage manager Danielle Zandri) has yielded stronger and stronger work. New patrons will encounter a marvelous stand-alone performance, while those who’ve followed Norman’s exploits from room to room, and stage to stage, can claim their part of this once-in-a-lifetime theatrical experience.
With support from the Orvis Company, Round and Round the Garden opens July 21 for a limited run – just 12 shows, closing on July 30. Show Times are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Runtime is 2 hours 15 minutes, with intermission. The Norman Conquests collaboration has been produced with support from Vermont Public Radio, Casella Resource Solutions, The Vermont Country Store, and TPW Real Estate.
Pre-show dinner is available at the West Town Eatery, located downstairs at the Playhouse. The post-show cabaret is well worth the $12 admission, Yankee Magazine’s 2014 Editor’s Choice for “Best Place for a Nightcap.” Reservations for the show, dinner, and cabaret can be made by calling 802-824-5288 or by visiting westonplayhouse.org.