Time and the Conways, the current Roundabout production now at the American Airlines Theatre is a curious and thoughtful piece of writing by J.B. Priestly. He uses J. W. Dunne's Theory of Time as the frame on which he hangs the cloth of this play. Time, according to Dunne, is not linear. Past, present and future intermingle, and all we have to do is pay attention.
Time and the Conways Tickets
Oscar, Emmy & Golden Globe nominee Elizabeth McGovern returns to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of J.B. Priestley's Time and the Conways. Tony winner Rebecca Taichman directs the "Downton Abbey" star's return to the stage in a limited engagement through to November 26, 2017 at the American Airlines Theatre.
Although Time and the Conways isn't the most well-known of Priestley's plays - indeed, this production marks its first Broadway revival since its short, original run in 1938 - it offers a wildly intriguing philosophy about time. Is time linear or do the past and future intertwine with the present? In the Roundabout's production, director Taichman makes some provocative choices in terms of the staging. When the action jumps forward from 1919 to 1937, the lavish backroom (1919) set retreats to the back of the stage (holding Carol Conway as a prisoner in time), whilst another translucent (1937) set descends down onto the stage in front of it. Neil Patel's design renders the new set as a ghost of its former self and former glory. It is still recognisable as the same room, but gone is the warmth and hope it once offered. The past is still visible behind the new set and Carol remains trapped there. The effect is theatrically strong and tackles the difficult theme of time well.
Despite the fact that Elizabeth McGovern understandably dominates the promotional material for the production, this truly is an ensemble piece, with the likes of Steven Boyer and Gabriel Ebert giving steller performances as Ernest and Alan, respectively. Playing characters at two different times of their lives (and almost twenty years apart) is a huge challenge for any actor and this cast rises to the task at hand. So, why not indulge and spend a little time with the Conways yourselves?
Time and the Conways originally premiered at Broadway's Ritz Theatre in January 1938 and ran for a total of 32 performances, starring Dame Sybil Thorndike as Mrs. Conway.
(Photos by Jeremy Daniel)
This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.
In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter's lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family's dreams bubble over like champagne. Jump nineteen years into the future, though, and the Conways' lives have transformed unimaginably. This time-traveling play takes place at the crossroads of today and tomorrow—challenging our notions of choice, chance and destiny.