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The Time of Your Life (1983)

The Time of Your Life

A Royal Shakespeare Company production of a play by William Saroyan, performed at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon (opened 30 March 1983).

Performance length: 2 hours and 30 minutes (including interval)


The Time of Your Life image #0The Time of Your Life image #1The Time of Your Life image #3

With thanks to Nadine for some of these photos and the theatre programme cover.


The Time of Your Life is a portrait of American working-class life, with the action taking place over the course of an afternoon and night during October 1939. 

The play's focus is a San Francisco dive, the grandly named Nick's Pacfic Street Saloon Restaurant and Entertainment Palace, where the locals seek refuge from the troubled outside world.  Among the regulars is Kitty Duval, nostalgic for her homeland.


Nick ... John Thaw
Arab ... Stanley Page
Joe ... Daniel Massey
The Newsboy ... Paul Spence
The Drunkard ... Martin Milman
Willie ... James Fleet
Tom ... Paul Greenwood
Kitty Duval ... Zoe Wanamaker
Dudley ... Miles Anderson
Harry ... Henry Goodman
Wesley ... Tony Scott
Lorene ... Frankie Cosgrave
Blick ... Martin Milman
Mary L ... Jane Booker
McCarthy ... Bruce Alexander
Krupp ... Geoffrey Beavers
Kit Carson ... John Cater
Sailor ... Paul Spence
Elsie ... Sarah Berger
Killer ... Frankie Cosgrave
Society Lady ... Caroline Harris
Society Gentleman ... Christopher Neame
Policemen ... Bruce Alexander and Geoffrey Beavers

The following cast changes were made when the production transferred to The Pit: Trevor Peacock (Nick), David Haig (Dudley), Selena Carey-Jones (Elsie).


At The Pit
Director: Howard Davies
Designer: Bob Crowley, assisted by Rod Langsford
Costume Designer: Allan Watkins
Lighting Designer: Leo Leibovici
Assistant Director: Paul Marcus
Piano arrangements: Keith Nicholas
Choreography: Ann Emery
Sound: John A. Leonard
Dialect Coach: Joan Washington
Company Voice Work: Cicely Berry and David Carey
Stage Manager: David M Harvey
Deputy Stage Manager: Helen Lovat-Fraser
Assistant Stage Manager: Alison Owen
Costume Supervisor: Carrie Bayliss
Costume Assistant: Glenda Sharp
Production Photographer: Alastair Muir
Programme Notes: Ellen Goodman


ZoŽ arrived in Stratford for the first preview of The Time of Your Life the very next day after her previous stage production, The Importance of Being Earnest, had ended.  This is proof, if it were needed, of how busy and in-demand she is as an actress.

In 1984, ZoŽ earned an Olivier Award nomination for Actress of the Year in a Supporting Role for her performance in The Time of Your Life.

The Time of Your Life is one of the many productions in which ZoŽ has appeared with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, which she joined in 1976.  Her other RSC productions during the 1980s include Twelfth Night (1983), The Comedy of Errors (1983), Mother Courage and Her Children (1984), and Othello (1989).

Press coverage

'The ever delightful ZoŽ Wanamaker is superb as Kitty Duval, plangently dreaming of home in Poland in the dťbris of a collapsed family business and the shame of being a hooker,' praised Michael Coveney, after The Time of Your Life had transferred to The Pit. 

Reviewing this 'beautiful production', the Guardian's Michael Billington was reminded of The Hostage, 'which has the same qualities of plotless bonhomie'.  Zoe appeared in a production of The Hostage in 1971.


The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan

Related links

The Time of Your Life production photos - Photostage (search the website using the keywords 'Wanamaker', 'Time', and 'Life' to find the photos)

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