One of Peter Nichols’ most recently staged plays, So Long Life depicts a family Sunday through the eyes of its ageing matriarch.
Bristol, 1995. It is Alice’s 85th birthday. An occasion for celebration. But like many family gatherings, it is also an occasion for parading long-held resentments, as her children attempt to persuade her to relinquish her independence and move to a home. However, Alice has no such plans. As the battles rage over her head, Alice’s consciousness drifts, time shifts, and past and present merge. The play casts a glance back across the 20th century through the lives of six wayward individuals. The result is a bittersweet comedy about the problem of ageing that exposes the painful truths of family life.
So Long Life was first performed at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol in 2000 having been broadcast as a radio play on BBC Radio 4 earlier in the year.