2011 – Table Manners

Table mannersSynopsis

Part of the delightful comic trilogy from one of England’s most popular playwrights, The Norman Conquests revolves around a lascivious librarian with designs on three different women, all family members. This first “battle” takes place in the dining room. Norman tells his wife he is going away on business but he really plans to take his sister-in-law on a memorable weekend tryst. Unexpected visitors foil their attempt to sneak away. Too much tension, too much alcohol, and too little food make for a combustible mix.


Norman Grahame Nightingale
Tom Frank Jenkins
Sarah Carrie Smart
Annie Lisa Punter
Reg James Ager
Ruth Louisa Tait

Directed by Hazel Wright

Stage manager – Ryan Wright

Lighting & Sound – Chris Jones & Simon Smart

Producer – Liz Treacy

Continuity – Sarah Jones


“Alan Ayckbourn with TADS at the Thrapston Plaza – what a recipe for a sparkling evening’s entertainment! And we were not disappointed. The casting was excellent, just the right mix of sweet and sour with the touch of piquancy from Annie who so wished for her weekend of happiness in East Grinstead. Congratulations to Viv Corbishley and the wardrobe department, all the characters looked “at home” in their costumes.

This play is perfect for “in the round” performances. With the minimal set, a dining table and chairs and a sideboard, the audience are close to the players and so miss none of the nuances of speech and sight that are sometimes missed  with the more conventional setting.
The director was Hazel Wright and well deserved the plaudits showered on her at the end of the play. She, in turn, paid generous tribute to the back stage crew. The people in black who are seldom seen or heard but who are, in fact, the backbone of any performance. The lighting and sound effects must be just right and spare a thought for “props.” Every little object must be in the right place at  precisely the right time – a mistake can ruin a scene. Even the lowly prompt must never let her concentration wander – sometimes difficult in a comedy.
So, to them all, thank you for another splendid production and I look forward to our next meeting in April.”
Review by Sylvia Brown