Time and the Conways - National Theatre - projection design and holographic effects by 59 Productions

Creative Team

Director: Rupert Goold

Designer: Laura Hopkins

Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson

Music and Sound: Adam Cork

Video Designer: Fifty Nine Productions Ltd

Movement Director: Scott Ambler


Mrs Conway: Francesca Annis

Carol Conway: Faye Castelow

Robin Conway: Mark Dexter

Joan Helford: Lisa Jackson

Hazel Conway: Lydia Leonard

Kay Conway: Hattie Morahan

Gerald Thornton: Alistair Petrie

Alan Conway: Paul Ready

Ernest Beevers: Adrian Scarborough

Madge Conway: Fenella Woolgar

Time and the Conways

National Theatre

about this project

Fifty Nine Productions team up once again with designer Laura Hopkins (Black Watch) for this production of J.B. Priestley's fascinating drama about time, history and the family.

The Conways, celebrating Kay’s 21st birthday in 1919, seem a golden family – safe and well after the Great War, looking forward to future careers, marriages, and a brave new world. Through J B Priestley’s masterly manipulation of time, we see into their future and back again to where the seeds of their downfall were planted.


'The production does have a couple of visual coups de theatre, including a final one in which past and present (or present and future) come together in a tableau wherein it is impossible to distinguish between actors and their projected, hologramlike images. It’s heartening to see classic live theater and high technology playing nicely together, a trend that’s been on the rise here since the Menier Chocolate Factory’s lovely digital evocation of the art of Seurat in its recent revival of “Sunday in the Park With George.'

New York Times

'The expressionist techniques deployed by Goold, designer Laura Hopkins, and the sound, lighting and video boffins are also striking: the second act ends with multiple images of the aspirant novelist, and the show closes with a flickering merger of the characters' present and future selves.'

The Guardian

"Goold, celebrated for his panache in the revival of plays, has described his production as being based on the observation of a family: it is "not as monkeyed around with as some of the things I've done". Actually, the monkeying, which takes the form of balletic interludes, lights up the time-travelling. One curtain falls on a visual enactment of one of Priestley's goose-over-your-grave trances: the prophetic sister - Hattie Morahan managing to unite uncanniness and charm - is seen in front of a mirror with multiple doppelgangers, each with a mirror; the line of women stretches from front to back of the stage, as if reaching into the mists of time. The evening ends with characters seen both as their fleshy selves and as celluloid, almost ectoplasmic versions: they are both present and not. Like time, really."