How strong are family ties…1919. A World War has just ended. The seemingly happy Conways family gathers to celebrate a birthday party. Eighteen years later, on the brink of World War Two, we see that the future is far from the one they imagined that night.
From the writer of An Inspector Calls, J. B. Priestley’s drama looks into complacency, class arrogance, and the knock on effect of a family’s own mistakes. Beneath the surface of this simple family story, Priestly explores the political and social history of Britain between the wars, and the nature of time itself.
Having previously worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and in the West End, Time and the Conways will be Fiona Buffini’s (Associate Director of Nottingham Playhouse), first main stage production at the theatre.
Speaking of Time and the Conways, (which kicks off the Autumn season at Nottingham Playhouse), Fiona said: “I’m very excited to bring it to the Playhouse stage as it’s a brutal piece of writing and I can’t wait to get my hands on it and reveal its inner beauty, ugliness and guts. We’ve got a big cast and I know they will relish the challenge of performing a play that examines the nature of time. At the end of the play, I hope it will leave people to reflect on their own lives and think more about the forces that shape our futures.”
Designing Time and the Conways will be Linbury Prize Winner, Madeleine Girling, who said: “When I first began exploring this play as part of the Linbury Prize, I was fully aware it might never be more than a speculative project. Having the opportunity to be a part of that was such a fantastic experience in itself, that to now be working with Nottingham Playhouse in the realization of that design is beyond anything I could have wished for.
She continued: “I’m so excited to be working in this theatre, with such brilliantly skilled people, and fantastic resources. It will have been over a year since my journey with Time and the Conways began so to finally see it come to life in this beautiful theatre is going to be a very special moment.”
Time and the Conways leads the Time and Memory season at Nottingham Playhouse; three plays by British writers that all use two time frames to explore the impact of the past on the present. In October Nottingham Playhouse and The Belgrade Theatre Coventry will present Propaganda Swing, a new play by Peter Arnott, and in November Nottingham Playhouse will be rounding off the Time and Memory season with Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.
Production Photo: Thanks to Robert Day