The British author J. B. Priestley wrote a number of dramas during the 1930s and 40s, which have come to be known as his Time Plays. They are so called because each examines a particular concept of time. In each play an alternative theory of time becomes the central metaphor or theatrical device of the play, the characters' lives being affected by how they react to the unusual temporal landscape they encounter.
The Time Plays include:
Dangerous Corner, in which exposure of a group of characters' dark secrets is wiped out when the play returns to the beginning at the fall of the curtain;
The Long Mirror, in which a woman artist has a curiously intimate relationship with a musician she has never met but has shared his life for five years in the spirit finally meet at a Welsh hotel;
An Inspector Calls, the most famous of them, in which a family undergoes a police investigation into a suicide which they later discover has not happened yet.
Of all the theories of time employed in the plays Priestley professed to believe only in one: that of J. W. Dunne. Although these plays are still popular with audiences and regularly undergo revivals in the UK, critical opinion remains divided about their literary worth and the validity, or not, of the use of the time theories as theatrical devices.