5 user 1 critic

Table Manners 

A dysfunctional family gathering for the weekend reunites three siblings and significant others in a small country cottage with farcical consequences.


Herbert Wise


Alan Ayckbourn
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Episode cast overview:
Richard Briers ... Reg
Penelope Keith ... Sarah
Tom Conti ... Norman
David Troughton ... Tom
Fiona Walker ... Ruth
Penelope Wilton ... Annie


Three plays by Alan Ayckbourn, interwoven in plot and time, giving different views of the same weekend. The action takes place in the family home, now occupied by Annie. Norman tries to bring a little happiness to his wife, Ruth, his sister-in-law, Annie, and their sister-in-law, Sarah. Written by David Leaver <leaver@netinfo.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

14 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway cast included Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Ken Howard, Carole Shelley, Estelle Parsons, and Barry Nelson. See more »


The play begins on a Saturday at 6PM. But twenty-five minutes later, a clock in the village is heard striking seven. See more »


Ruth: [after long, rambling dialogue by Norman] Norman, just sit quietly and enjoy your lettuce.
Norman: I was making small talk.
Ruth: Yes, well, it's not quite small enough, dear.
Norman: I can't get it any smaller, or I'll swallow it.
See more »


Follows The Norman Conquests: Living Together (1977) See more »


Girls Were Made to Love and Kiss
from the operetta "Paganini" (uncredited)
Composed by Franz Lehár (1925)
Sung off-stage by Tom Conti
See more »

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User Reviews

Jolly good fun, a hoot
27 June 2003 | by VatronacSee all my reviews

Granted it's been 25 years since I've seen the Norman Conquests shows, but I remember it being extremely witty and it led to my life-long love of British entertainment. I was also a big fan of public television (the only network brave enough to air sophisticated comedy) in those days and was fascinated by Tom Conti, who was just starting to enjoy a little fame in America. Truthfully, I still think about some of the scenes featuring Tom Conti and how I laughed, but I don't know if the humor would hold up today. You may find some things funny at 17, but not at 42. Anyway, I'm going to view it again someday and hope it'll bring back some memories. It's too bad Tom Conti's career petered out early in the US. He was a marvelous talent. A toast: To England!

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