Opened 5 May 2009
Written: by J B Priestley
Directed: Rupert Goold
Cast: Francesca Annis (Mrs Conway), Adrian Scarborough (Ernest Beevers), Paul Ready , Mark Dexter, Lisa Jackson, Lydia Leonard, Hattie Morahan, Alistair Petrie, Fenella Woolgar
Synopsis: The Conways, celebrating Kay’s 21st birthday in 1919, seem a golden family – safe and well after the Great War, looking forward to future careers, marriages, and a brave new world. Through J B Priestley’s masterly manipulation of time, we see into their future and back again to where the seeds of their downfall were planted. Priestley was fascinated by the study of time. Writing in 1937, he saw how Britain was complacently failing to learn from history and charging headlong towards another conflagration.
What the popular press had to say.....
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Intriguing and intelligent, sometimes seems rather self-conscious in its attempt to prove that Priestley was always an experimental writer posing as a bluff naturalist." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Goold's production is disappointingly conventional...The play is far too mechanical and contrived for its own good, and Goold's surprisingly pedestrian production is unable to disguise its weakness." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "For all its heavy-handedess, Goold proves that the play can also be lively and poignant. He gets some strong performances from his cast...a rather melancholy play about change, decay, loss and sorrow." FIONA MOUNTFORD for THE EVENING STANDARD says, " It’s standard stuff...Some fine acting sustains the evening." JOHN THAXTER for THE STAGE says, "Flawed but fascinating play."
Production photo by Manuel Harlan