Preview: Eden End, by JB Priestley, Theatre Royal Brighton

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THE CRACKS are slowly exposed in a respectable Northern family in JB Priestley’s Eden End which runs from Tuesday June 28 to Saturday July 2.

Stella Kirby spent eight years running away, leaving home to find her freedom as a celebrated actress.

Now she has decided that the only role left to play is the prodigal daughter returned.

She hopes to discover herself in the warmth of ordinary life and the familiar surroundings of her childhood home.

It is set in 1912 and is a poignant look back at an Edwardian age of innocence before the start of the First World War.

This subtle play movingly explores the secret heartache and disappointment of ambition unfulfilled.

Eden End was last seen in London in Olivier’s final season for the National Theatre at the Old Vic in 1974.

The play is directed by Royal and Derngate’s artistic director, Laurie Sansom and coproduced with English Touring Theatre, recipients respectively of The Stage Regional Theatre of the Year 2010 and The Stage Producer of the Year 2010.

Charlotte Emmerson, who plays Stella, boasts roles in Serenading Louie at the Donmar and the title role in Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin at the National Theatre.

Jonathan Firth, who played Henry in Henry IV Part III at the RSC, is Geoffrey Farrant.

Laurie Sansom recently directed The Holy Rosenbergs at the National Theatre following on from his best director win at the 2010 Theatrical Management Awards for the Young America coupling Spring Storm and Beyond The Horizon, which transferred to the National Theatre, London in March last year.

Tickets cost from £15 to £25 from the Box Office 0844 871 7650 (booking fee) or visit www.ambassadortickets.com/brighton.