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by J. B. Priestley

Directed by Emma Kimsey
October 6, 7 & 8, 2011

Arnold Jordan Malcolm Bentote
Edna Sandars Bieneke Barwick
Keith Henley Ritchard Tysoe
Helen Tennant Alison Wyatt
Sally Philips Dorothy Bentote
Clara Packer Alison Marshall
Rose Heaton Estelle Dunham
Fred Poole David Bowers
Robert Crowther Duncan Sykes
Miss Tracey Valerie Clarke

Location: The action takes place in the staff room of the large Greenfingers Palace Hotel in the Peak District.
Time: The 1930s

Programme Notes       [ Photographs ]

The Author - J. B. Priestley

Priestley was born in September 1894 in Bradford. Having left school at 16, he worked as a junior clerk at a wool firm and wrote articles in his spare time for various newspapers.

He was to draw on memories of Bradford in many of the works he wrote after he had moved south, including 'Bright Day' and 'When We Are Married',

Priestley served during the First World War in the 10th Battalion of The Duke of Wellington's Regiment, and was wounded in 1916 by mortar fIre. After his military service Priestley received a university education at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and by the age of 30 he had established a reputation as a humorous writer and critic.

Priestley's first major success came with the novel 'The Good Companions', which made him a national figure. His next novel, 'Angel Pavement', further established him as a successful novelist.

He moved into a new genre and became equally well known as a dramatist. 'Dangerous Corner' was the first of a series of plays that enthralled audiences.His best-known play is 'An Inspector Calls' which was made into a film starring Alastair Sim.

During World War II, he was a regular broadcaster on the BBC. 'The Postscript', broadcast on Sunday nights throughout 1940 and 1941,drew peak audiences of 16 million; only Churchill was more popular with listeners.

Priestley chaired the 1941 Committee and in 1942 he was a co-founder of the socialist Common Wealth Party. The political content of his broadcasts and his hopes of a new and different England after the war influenced the politics of the period and helped the Labour Party gain its landslide victory in the 1945 general election. In 1958 he was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He married three times. In 1921 he married Emily 'Pat' Tempest, a music-loving Bradford librarian. Two daughters were born in 1923 and 1924, but in 1925 his wife died of cancer. In September 1926, he married Jane Wyndham-Lewis and they had two daughters and one son. In 1953 he divorced his second wife and married the archaeologist and writer Jacquetta Hawkes, his collaborator on the play 'Dragon's Mouth'.

He died on 14th August 1984.