Old Times describes a love triangle of sorts, and the peculiar beauty of it is the joining of its angles over twenty years and in the structure of the play, which takes place in a single evening.
Kate and Anna shared a flat in “lovely London” once upon a time, “innocent girls, innocent secretaries” amid the “creative undoubtedly” whirl of cafés and concerts. Deeley and Kate are married now, and live by the sea in a converted farmhouse. Anna pays them a visit, from her villa “very high up, on the cliffs” where she lives with her husband who understands, “in Taormina... just outside.”
Deeley knows the place. “I had a great crew in Sicily. A marvellous cameraman. Irving Shultz. Best in the business. We took a pretty austere look at the women in black. The little old women in black. I wrote the film and directed it. My name is Orson Welles.”
He knew Anna, once upon a time. The beautifully allusive language in which the characters characterize their relationships is the great development. There is no action to speak of. Kate serves coffee, Deeley pours brandy, Kate enters after her bath.