NAUGHTY Norman is at it again – schmoozing all the ladies and revelling in his powers of seduction.
Annie is tired of caring for her malicious, bed-ridden mother and agrees to go off with brother-in-law Norman – for a weekend. Brother Reg and his wife Sarah come to look after mother. Sarah succumbs to Norman’s charms but Norman’s wife, Ruth, arrives to sort them all out and falls prey to Tom, the resident vet. Chaos!
Round and Round the Garden is the last of The Norman Conquests – a trilogy of plays written in 1973 by Alan Ayckbourn.
The small scale of the drama is typical of Ayckbourn with only six characters – Norman, his wife Ruth, her brother Reg and his wife Sarah, Ruth’s sister Annie, and Tom, Annie’s next-door-neighbour.
Each of the plays depicts the same six characters over the same weekend in a different part of a house.
The action of Round and Round the Garden is played out in the garden.
Each play is self-contained and can be watched in any order. Some of the scenes overlap, and on various occasions a character’s exit from one play corresponds with an entrance in another.
As always with Ayckbourn, we laugh, but the dark side lurks just below the surface. We can see ourselves in his characters with their emotional frailties and insecurities.
This production of Round and Round the Garden is presented by Pendley Theatre Company – one of the oldest companies in the area, emerging from the late Robert Goldman’s Actors Repertory Theatre in the eighties.
Round and Round the Garden will be at the Court Theatre, Tring from Wednesday, March 23 to Saturday, March 26, 8pm.
Call the box office on 07543 560 478 for tickets, go online at www.courttheatre.co.uk or pop into box office outlet Beechwood Fine Foods, 42 Frogmore Street, Tring. HP23 5AU.