J. B. Priestley's Time Plays

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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.[1] 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.[2]

The Time Plays include:

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.[citation needed]

The Long Mirror was performed at The Pentameters Theatre in Hampstead 18 January 2011 until 6 February 2011.[needs update]

Recently, Pictures of Bright Lights, a play by Maree Freeman, was on show at Bondi in Sydney which portrayed themes from J.B. Priestley's "Time Plays."[needs update]

A film dramatisation of An Inspector Calls was produced by the BBC and broadcast on 13 September 2015.


  1. ^ Robert Skloot; "The Time Plays of J. B. Priestley", Quarterly Journal of Speech, Volume 56, Issue 4 (1970), Pages 426-431.[1]
  2. ^ JB Priestley's son on An Inspector Calls - Cambridge News 16 October 2011

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