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Biography

J.B. PriestlEy was born in Bradford, and educated there at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His reputation as a dramatist was established by Dangerous Corner, Time and the Conways & other plays on space/time themes, as well as popular comedies such a Laburnum Grove & his psychological mystery,  An Inspector Calls. Best known as a writer of novels, Priestley was also master of the essay form. He was an astute, original and controversial commentator on contemporary society.

By J.B. Priestly, available through Currency Press - see all

Cornelius
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

Cornelius

J B Priestley
 

As bankruptcy looms, the ever - optimistic Jim Cornelius, partner at import firm Briggs and Murrison, is fighting to keep his creditors happy and his spirits up. Tensions rise with the arrival of Judy, the beautiful, young typist who shows Cornelius the life he could have led...

Written for Ralph Richardson in 1935, Priestley observes the politics and tensions of daily office life with searing wit and humanity in this hilarious and heart - breaking story of friendship, unrequited love and business. 



Cast : 3F, 12M (doubling)
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-500-0 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
JB Priestley: Plays Three
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JB Priestley: Plays Three

J B Priestley
 
The third volume of JB Priestley plays from Oberon includes the plays Music at Night, The Long Mirror and Ever Since Paradise. All three were written between 1938 and 1940, though Ever Since Paradise was not produced till 1946. It was a very creative time for him, but interrupted by the war. There are elements of his continuing interest in Time in each of them. None of the plays are truly conventional but are disguised as such. A fascinating trio.

Music at Night centres on a group of people attending a musical evening to hear a new work. Each act follows a movement in the music, which inspires the listeners to react each in their own way, looking inside themselves for their true feelings and sometimes remembering significant moments from their past. As often in Priestley’s work, the relations between the sexes play an important part, a theme which recurs in the other two plays.

Based on a true incident, The Long Mirror recounts the meeting between a composer and a young woman who seems to have been telepathically connected to him for some time, and has experienced much of his life before actually meeting him. Her knowledge of his past can help his future as an artist and a husband.

Ever Since Paradise he described as ‘A Discursive Entertainment, chiefly referring to Love and Marriage in Three Acts’. Three couples are made up of The Musicians, The Commentators and The Example. Together they illustrate various aspects of relationships, accompanied by appropriate music on two pianos.


Cast : Music At Night - 10M, 6F; The Long Mirror - 2M, 3F; Ever Since Paradise - 3M, 3F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-248-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Priestley: Plays Four
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Priestley: Plays Four

The Thirty-First of June/ Jenny Villiers: a ghost story of the theatre

J B Priestley
 

Two little known Priestley plays, which, while they are quite different, have important features in common.

The Thirty-First of June is a comedy set partly in an advertising agency and partly in a medieval castle; Jenny Villiers is a serious play set backstage in an old provincial theatre. But both exploit elements of Time.

In The Thirty- First of June scenes switch between modern times and the middle ages, while characters move between both. There are kings,company bosses, princesses, fashion models, dwarfs and two rival magicians causing confusion and romance.

Jenny Villiers examines life in the theatre.The doubts of the present are confronted by players from the past, and a jaded playwright recovers his faith in the theatre. Both plays were performed on the stage, but later rewritten and published as novels.


Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-49432-177-  | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Summer Day's Dream
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Summer Day's Dream

J B Priestley
 
"I spent more than half my life, when I ought to have been enjoying myself, arguing and planning and running around like a maniac, all to sell a lot of things to people I didn't know, so that I could buy a lot of things that I didn't have time to use. Sheer lunacy. And it took nothing less than an atom bomb to blow me out of it.”

Following a devastating nuclear war which has seen Britain bombed backinto the pre-industrial past, Stephen Dawlish and his family live a quiet rural life. Until their quiet, agrarian existence is disrupted by the appearance of three representatives of the New World Order – an American, a Russian and an Indian – who have devastating plans that will end their new peaceful way of life forever...

Cast : 5M, 3F
Oberon Books UK | 978-1-78319-051-5 | Sales Rights: Aust/NZ only | PB
The Roundabout
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The Roundabout

J B Priestley
 

The Kettlewells are a dysfunctional family. Richard is a charming old Etonian whose business ventures are failing. Over a crowded weekend, his daughter Pamela, whom he hardly knows, returns from Russia, a passionate communist; his ex-wife and mistress both unexpectedly arrive; and his butler has a big win at the races.

The Roundabout is a funny, touching, highly perceptive look at an England in the 1930s, when it seemed, just possibly, as if the social order might be changing.

Cast : 5F, 6M
Oberon Books Ltd, UK | 978-1-78682-017-4 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
When We Are Married
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$21.95 inc GST

When We Are Married

J B Priestley
 
In the heart of Northern England, three respectable couples, married on the same day, at the same church, and by the same vicar, join to celebrate 25 years of blissful matrimony. Or so they think…  

The happy celebrations are brought to a sudden halt by a shocking revelation – these pillars of the community aren’t quite as respectably married as they thought they were. As the home truths fly like confetti and conjugal rites turn to farcical fights, an evening of sparkling comic mayhem erupts. 

With a photographer from the local paper due to arrive any second, a missing housekeeper and a doorbell that wont stop ringing, can the three couples keep a lid on their embarrassing secret? Penned in 1938, this is a classic comedy that is a blessed union of laughs and surprises.



Cast : 7M, 7F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-116-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB