I can go for weeks, even months, spending every evening curled up with a book or watching crime thrillers on TV, then I have times like the last couple of weeks when I seem to be out every night - well, once a week at least! So after a night at the movies and a trip to Derby Theatre, it was time to visit Nottingham Playhouse to see J B Priestley's Time and the Conways.
Now there's half an idea lingering at the back of my mind, probably from as long ago as my schooldays, that Priestley's plays are very worthy but a little dull with the emphasis being on social and political matters, not individuals and their lives. Time and the Conways proved to be very different; a play primarily about people, their hopes, and the dashing of them.
The play opens in 1919 with the Conway family celebrating daughter Kay's 21st birthday, and an end to all the restrictions and worries of war. They all see the future as bright and rosy - whether they're looking forward to an advantageous marriage or a new social order - but the second act set 19 years later shows a family torn apart through their own weaknesses and pride. Whether you liked the characters or not (and some definitely fell in the latter group), they all felt so very real; people I could relate to and recognise. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, I loved it!
All the cast were amazing but it was especially nice to see (Bergerac's) Louise Jameson back at Nottingham Playhouse; last time she was playing an entirely different role - Jocasta in Steven Berkoff's Oedipus