PRIESTLEY PLAYS ON YOU TUBE

The following BBC TV adaptations of Priestley’s plays can now be viewed in full on You Tube:

1982 An Inspector Calls

1985Time and the Conways

1987When We Are Married

1994Summer Day’s Dream

The availability of Summer Day’s Dream, with an excellent cast headed by the 90-year-old Sir John Gielgud as the Prospero like Stephen Dawlish, is especially valuable. Although this play was revived by the

Finborough Theatre, London in 2013 it really counts as another of Priestley’s ‘lost’ plays. Written in 1949 but set in a post-nuclear war

Britain of 1975 it has a certain link with They Came to a City in that it presents a contrast between a materialistic and socially hidebound society and one which emphasises communal interdependence and self-sufficiency. Although hardly a classic it shows the dramatist as still concerned with both ideas and idealism. Indeed, with its obvious Shakespearean overtones it aspires, even with perhaps limited success, to a sensibility that is both mystical and poetical. In this respect the doomed romance between Dawlish’s grandson, Christopher, and the young, unhappily married Russian trade official Irina Shestova achieves a genuine poignancy; and It is arguable that with The Glass Cage the play represents Priestley’s most interesting work in the theatre after 1947.

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