Time and The Conways

Currently playing at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre, Time and The Conways by JB Priestley is a must see.

Priestley takes time to draw the audience into the post demob world of Mrs Conway and her six children. Alan and Robin have miraculously escaped the carnage and returned home undamaged from the trenches. Kay is celebrating her twenty-first birthday and her sisters, Madge, Hazel and Carol are helping.We watch with 21st century disbelief as they fidget through a huge pile of dressing-up clothes and false moustaches. A simpler time then – it was simpler even when Priestley wrote Time and the Conways, first produced in 1937.

The current production is a collaboration between Dundee Rep and the Royal Lyceum. It’s directed by Jemima Levick and she’s ably supported by Designer Ti Green, Lighting designer Mark Doubleday and composer Philip Pinsky. The costumes were the responsibility of Dundee Rep and they are fabulous. Nor should one forget to mention the ageing of the characters between the first act and the second. Make-up, padding, wigs, movement – the whole package carried the characters forward to the late thirties in a beilievable way.

The performances of Emily Winter as the lead character, Kay, Irene Macdougall as Mrs conway and Richard Conlon as Alan Conway were very nearly perfect, but that’s not to forget the rest of Time and the Conways able and engaging cast.

The story is reminiscent of the Cherry Orchard, although no ancient retainers are shut up for the winter, and shows just how easily comfortable optimism can lead to disaster.

Another week in Edinburgh and then transferring to Dundee Rep. You should go…

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