In The Norman Conquests we witness one fraught weekend in the life of a middle class family, Reg and his wife Sarah arrive to look after their mother (who is never actually seen as she is in bed upstairs) so that Reg’s sister Annie can go on a weekend, they think she is planning a getaway with her boyfriend Tom but she is really planning a “dirty weekend” with her brother-in-law Norman (the series is named after him in fact, he causes chaos pretty much whereever he goes). When everyone gets wind of the planned weekend Annie and Norman cancel and Norman’s wife Ruth also descends on the house to give everyone a piece of her mind.
Very cute opening titles, fabulous casting and glorious script make The Norman Conquests a real undisputed gem. In fact there are so many great lines and choice moments that it hard to single out individual moments. Each of the three episodes take place in a different part of the house and each episode tracks back over the same weekend revealing different points along the way. Episode One, Living Together, takes place in the drawing room, episode two, Round and Round the Garden takes place naturally enough in the garden and episode three Table Manners is set in the dining room.
“Anyone I love is automatically beautiful”
UK / ITV Network – Thames / 3×120 minute episodes / Broadcast 5 – 19 October 1977
Writer: Alan Ayckbourn / Title Music: Wilfred Josephs / Costumes: Anne Salisbury / Production Design: David Marshall / Producers: Verity Lambert, David Susskind / Director: Herbert Wise
The three episodes were titled
1. LIVING TOGETHER (5 October 1977)
2. ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN (12 October 1977)
3. TABLE MANNERS (19 October 1977)