Edit ModuleShow Tags

Review: Time and the Conways

The Old Globe’s latest production examines the power of time and consequence



Photo by Jim Cox

Photo by Jim Cox

Time and the Conways is a story about family dysfunction and greed—and how the choices we make, good or bad, set us on an inevitable course toward our futures.

The play is set in 1919, on an evening of a great party for daughter Kay’s 21st birthday, in the Conway family’s regal household. But foreboding emotions lurk beneath the surface.

Halfway through Act I, we shift 18 years forward to the same room at the Conway family’s now not-so-regal household. With direction by Rebecca Taichman, the transition through time is done in an artful, haunting way.

In this future sequence, the audience sees what has become of the Conways: the squandered fortune, quarreling siblings, and bad marriages. It is a disheartening, depressing view.  

But just when all hope seems lost, we travel back to that original night of celebration in 1919. Act II cleverly answers a lot of the questions as to how the Conways arrive at their sad fates in 1937.

Kim Martin-Cotten plays the matriarch of this sorted lot. She delivers the role with great élan—very Mommy Dearest meets the Dowager Countess.

The play really shines in its shifts through the years: the hair and makeup changes, the costumes by David Israel Reynoso, and set design by Neil Patel. Also noteworthy is the way its actors change their movement, gaits, posture, and stances to show their changing ages and attitudes.

Playwright J. B. Priestley was born in England and served in the British Army before attending Cambridge in 1919. His play is set in between the two World Wars, when there was a prevailing hope of rebuilding and reinventing the world. One of the characters is a socialist. All of them are wealthy. Priestley had great insight into the British upper class, and employed many of the same themes that circulate in the popular PBS Show Downton Abbey

Are the Conways’ fates sealed? Is that look into the future an inescapable reality or a dream? There’s almost a hint that Kay, who is a writer, foresees the bad direction in which her family is headed and will have the wherewithal to make a change and set her clan on a different course. It's ultimately left for the audience to decide. And all that takes is… time.


March 29-May 4
Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park
Tickets start at $29 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Halloween Guide 2016

From monster bashes to creepy arts and crafts, check out San Diego's spooktacular events for the whole family

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 17

Tune in for tons of restaurant news, plus expert advice on living La Vida Vegan in San Diego

Watch the Video: Celebrating Women

'Drive & Vision: Three Stories of Success' highlights three women from our September issue
Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Local News Updates And Things To Do In San Diego

About This Blog

San Diego Magazine's editorial staff (Erin Chambers Smith + Erin Meanley + Kimberly Cunningham + Archana Ram + a handful of smart, thoughtful contributors)  and web designer (Sanna Coates) blog everything from restaurants and bars to behind the scenes gossip to the best events happening this weekend. Looking for foodie and restaurant guru Troy Johnson? He's got his own blog here.

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Cityfiles Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Stop Killing Restaurants, California
    Raising minimum wage without a tip credit is dumb, dumb, dumb.
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. FIRST LOOK: Campfire
    Carlsbad gets one hell of a new concept in Campfire from Craft & Commerce vet John Resnick
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module