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Time and the Conways

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews

Marcia Warren and Stella Gonet star in J. B. Priestley's classic family drama about the nature of time.

Time and the Conways follows the fortunes of one family over a period of years, and offers a moving perspective on the abstract nature of the past, present and future.

It is 1919, the War is over and the Conway family are celebrating their daughter Kay's 21st birthday. But

Audiobook, 2 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by AudioGO (first published 1937)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first play I've ever liked more when I read it than when I saw it performed. With two intermissions and without the freedom to read quickly over the boring charade game in the first act, it dragged on a bit too much.

But the idea is intriguing. The first act is set in 1919, the second in 1939, and the third back in 1919--all in the same room. The play demonstrates how little careless actions in the present can have devastating consequences in the future. The third act is quite enjoyable beca
I like how the didacticism (the "Christmas Carol" message of change your life before it's too late) is subdued by the ambiguity of the ending. I also enjoyed how the "rule" of chronological time was broken - also breaking away from the somber reality of the second act.
Nov 18, 2014 Maru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few plays for college and I think this is the one I enjoyed the most so far. I liked how the author played with the concept of time, especially the future, and it kept me thinking, can we really change our future or it's already written?
Aug 25, 2016 Tomo20 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
The first act drags a little, the second is depressing and the third fractious and frustrating. Despite all that, and in many ways because if it, this is a strong play.

Cleverly put together to give the reader/audience a poignant overview of the disintegration of family happiness through the ripples of society, their own hubris, stray comments, or words left unsaid. None of the characters are saints, though the younger daughter Carol could have been a catalyst for good, given the chance. None of
From BBC Radio 4:
Classic drama of 'joy and woe' cutting back and forth in time as it follows a Yorkshire family's fortunes.
Aug 28, 2015 Toti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well-written but kind of depressing.
Bobbie Darbyshire
Dec 31, 2016 Bobbie Darbyshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Next up in our book group’s between-the-wars season is J B Priestley, so we chose a play for a change. Act 1 takes place in 1919 in a back sitting-room where the Conways are dressing up to perform charades at a 21st birthday party. Act 2 revisits the room for a fraught family conference on the same birthday in 1937. Act 3 returns to 1919 as the party winds up. Great writing: the ten characters came alive even on a solitary read-through. I look forward to the group read-through before we descend ...more
Helen Bu
Nov 17, 2016 Helen Bu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Мудро и саркастично) Учит принимать жизнь какой она есть и, наверное, не планировать ее..?)
Daniel Alejandro
Another book I had to read for my English class. This play consists of three acts, from which the second is the most enjoyable one, whilst the others (apart from the finale) are rather uninteresting and had too much filler for my taste. These two acts describe the time when The Conways used to be happy and their goals in life were still a dream for them.
The conversation between Alan and Kay was, in my opinion, the peak of this play. There are plenty of deep thoughts there, when sadness prevails
Simon Fletcher
Oct 17, 2016 Simon Fletcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
This is the first play I've read by Priestley other than An Inspector Calls. In some senses it deals with similar issues, foreshadowing, prediction, second chances and lost opportunities.
my one issue is that the 3 acts are a little uneven. Act 1 is slow and a little tedious, Act 3 is good and leaves you not with answers but questions. Act 2 though is blistering and is some of the finest dialogue and storytelling I've read.
Paul Servini
May 29, 2010 Paul Servini rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
As others have pointed out it is its non-linear structure that carries this play. I found it very interesting moving forward in time to see what the characters becanme before going back to the time of Act One to see how, even then, they were sowing the seeds for their future. Apart from this, the goings on of the Conway family didn't really interest me that much.
What begins as a rather frivolous play turns much darker as the the setting shifts to the future. Suddenly the happy-go-luck Conways begin to resemble the cast of August Osage Country. An well crafted exploration of how a life a can be shaped by seemingly small moments.
Exelent! Succeeds in creating one big atmosphere, and slowly creates each one of the characters. No one less important than the other.
Crazy theory about time explained as if It was the most common thing in the world. I'm must say, I'm in.
Jonathan Edgington
Aug 23, 2013 Jonathan Edgington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
When it comes to theatre, I usually prefer "new writing" but this is one of those ageless, classic plays that will, deservably, be around for ever. TIME AND THE CONWAYS made a big impression on me when I first saw it many years ago and continues to do so. It has certainly stood the test of time!
May 24, 2010 Bettie☯ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC7
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play-theatre
Themes of purpose of life/what we do with our time/decisions and consequences, set over two time periods.
May 18, 2015 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, ww2_40s
Downbeat juxtaposition of youthful aspirations and actual achievements, darkened by the shadow (in 1937) of impending world war
Lorenzo rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2016
Jun 30, 2010 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this play.
Brendon Smith
Brendon Smith rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2014
Sefiat rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2014
Esperanza rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2012
Alexandra rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2014
Dave rated it really liked it
Dec 18, 2015
Abby Anderson
Abby Anderson rated it did not like it
May 14, 2014
Atlanticgirl rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2012
Jane Stone
Jane Stone rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2015
María Elisa
María Elisa rated it it was ok
Nov 13, 2014
Isca Silurum
Isca Silurum rated it liked it
May 29, 2016
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John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...more
More about J.B. Priestley...

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“But the point is, now, at this moment, or any moment, we're only cross-sections of our real selves. What we really are is the whole stretch of ourselves, all our time, and when we come to the end of this life, all those selves, all our time, will be us - the real you, the real me. And then perhaps we'll find ourselves in another time, which is only another kind of dream.” 7 likes
“Time's only a kind of dream, Kay. If it wasn't, it would have to destroy everything —the whole universe— and then remake it again every tenth of a second. But Time doesn't
destroy anything. It merely moves us on —in this life— from one peephole to the next.”
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