Production 71 Time and the Conways

Time and the ConwaysBy J.B. Priestley

 

Performed on Thu 28th to Sat 30th September 1972 at The Astor Theatre
In aid of The Deal Centre for the Retired

 

The Cast

The Cast

Mrs. Conway Bessie Rich
Alan Conway Henry Riley
Madge Conway Glenys Cresswell
Robin Conway Martin Brody
Hazel Conway Lorna Richardson
Kay Conway Tessa Ashton
Carol Conway Elizabeth Lorimer
Joan Helford Gill Watson
Ernest Beevers Norman Smith
Gerald Thornton Peter Bowers

Cast of Time and the ConwaysCast of Time and the Conways

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Time and the Conways

Cast of Time and the Conways

Talented Cast for a Priestley Play

Time has always concerned the imaginative: from the simple exposition of the songwriter, What a difference a day makes, to the theories of Outspensky, Somewhere in the middle comes J.B. Priestley, dramatist, novelist and essayist, who wrote a number of plays concerned with time. The most successful of these was Time and the Conways, which The Guild Players presented at The Astor Theatre last week in aid of Deal Centre for the Retired. Time and the Conways was written in 1937 and reveals imaginative capacity and not a little disillusion. Priestley takes an ordinary family celebrating a 21st birthday soon after the end of World War 1 and, in his second act gives a glimpse of them all almost 20 years later. It’s a jaundiced view of humanity with the years leaving blemishes everywhere except on one of the daughters, who dies in her youth. Priestley exploits the force of time and environment on a group of people and his results are mildly frightening. Only one of his characters carries the years without a change for the worse. He is the least intelligent but the most contented, and Priestley makes the point that happiness is intrinsic. In a talented cast, Tessa Ashton was outstanding as the birthday-girl whose mind races ahead almost two decades to utter disillusion. Tessa found the right balance between what were virtually two characters. This was a subtle performance. Glenys Cresswell also clearly defined the passing of the years with her portrayal of a dedicated young Socialist who turns into a career-minded and obsessed schoolteacher. Bessie Rich rang the changes with her characterisation of a devoted mother who finds time clouds her values and certainly narrows our mind: and there was a nicely drawn study from Lorna Richardson, whose vivacity melts away under family stresses – an impressive contrast. Gill Watson, Norman Smith and Peter Bowers all contributed with excellent studies of personalities changed, in varying degrees, by time. Martin Brody made an excellent black sheep, and Elizabeth Lorimer – in her first major role – was delightful as the daughter destined never to see the years ahead. Henry Riley was perfect as the stolid and unambitious one on whom the years have no effect at all. This was deftly underplayed but wholly convincing. I found Tony Kilshawe’s direction a trifle uneven. After a gay and bubbling 1st act, the 2nd came to a virtual standstill in its closing minutes as players grappled with the author’s time theories. But Tony Kilshawe is to be congratulated on his knowledgeable approach to character change. Definition was sharp and penetrating.

Tony Arnold

Production Team

Production Team

Producer Conrad Sherwin
Director Tony Kilshawe
Front of House Reuben Atkinson
Stage Managers Doris Cohen, Zena Almond & Robert Johnston
Lighting & Effects Arthur Laffar
Wardrobe & Make-up Joyce Jewson
Scenery Guild Players Members
Décor Charles Jennings

Cast of Time and the ConwaysCast of Time and the Conways