Thread Theatre’s production of Alan
The cast are well chosen with Skerrit’s Norman having the right ratio of obnoxiousness and charisma that make him such an irritatingly irresistible character.
Table Manners, the first of the three, introduces us to the eponymous Norman (John Skerrit) and his philandering ways. His sister-in-law Sarah (Hayley Everitt) is so determined to prevent him from going with Annie (Georgie Levers) on a romantic getaway to Croydon that she doesn’t realise she’s being taken in too.
The cast are well chosen with Skerrit’s Norman having the right ratio of obnoxiousness and charisma that make him such an irritatingly irresistible character. Sam Lane fits the bill perfectly, taking on the straight man role well as the sweet yet shy veterinarian Tom.
There are a few moments that misfire. For example when Norman walks in to dinner blaring out Iggy Azalea’s Fancy it felt like a means of getting an easy laugh which was a touch out of place given the late twentieth century aesthetic. There was also the first scene between Levers and Everitt takes a while to get going, with Everitt’s uptight Sarah feeling a little hammy at times.
Some members of the cast are stronger than others. Director Steph Biggs as Ruth occasionally falls short although her speech about motherhood being a choice not an obligation artfully tugged at my feminist heartstrings.
The Norman Conquests is an easy watch but not without its flaws. It’s enjoyable and will make you laugh but it’s not the show you’ll compulsively tell all your friends about.