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An Inspector Calls
November 5th - November 9th
The National Theatre’s Landmark Production.
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning production for the National Theatre of AN INSPECTOR CALLS returns after a sell-out London season and American tour.
Daldry’s visionary, radical, challenging version of JB Priestley’s classic thriller, hailed as the theatrical event of its generation, has been seen by more than 4 million people worldwide.
When Inspector Goole arrives unexpectedly at the prosperous Birling family home, their peaceful dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young woman. His startling revelations shake the very foundations of their lives and challenge us all to examine our consciences.
More relevant now than ever, this is a must-see for a whole new generation of theatregoers.
Running Time: Approx. 105 minutes, no interval.
Post show talk – Thursday 7th November (After the matinee) FREE to ticket holders
Production photographs at the Playhouse Theatre by Mark Douet
Director Stephen Daldry
Designer Ian MacNeil
Lighting Designer Rick Fisher
Composer Stephen Warbeck
Associate Director Julian Webber
Producer PW Productions
Very interesting interpretation of this classic play and GCSE set text! I loved the doll's house idea and the use of the phone box; although I'm not sure the Wednesday matinee school student audience knew what it was! Their reaction to the play was youthful and energetic. Their whoops, gasps and cheers at various points in the action meant they had put their mobile phones away, were engaging with the play and were maybe even taking notes to help with their exams. Did they get the significance of Sheila taking off her dress I wonder and the references to impending World War? Hope so. Teachers?!
Amazing actors and sound effects. Good sound and could hear perfectly from the back! Would recommend to anyone who has read inspector calls or just fancies it!
Choice Radio Worcester
When an Inspector calls, you listen to what he has to say. Right? Well, it's certainly true in the case of the Birling family and what is said has major repercussions. Patriarch Arthur is a hard-headed businessman and was something of a high flyer in local politics - Lord Mayor no less (and is more than happy to tell anyone who cares to listen) - and his daughter Sheila has just got engaged to Gerald, with Arthur keen to put it out there that a potential knighthood might be coming his way to help things along. Until an Inspector calls, that is, and the apple cart is well and truly upset.
Set in 1912, the family have no inkling of the momentous events which will unfold in a couple of years. At the same time, J. B. Priestley introduces themes of class, age, social injustice and even homelessness, implying that factory boss Arthur may be indirectly responsible for the chain of events which are about to be revealed concerning a worker who was sacked for asking for a pay rise.
An air of mystery surrounds the story - and indeed the Inspector - and this is transferred to the set, bleak and rainy to start with, kids playing around what looks like a large doll's house with a view through the windows of the family inside, toasting their daughter's engagement. The walls cleverly open out for the remainder of the play (until one event dramatically changes that) as the family come to terms with the Inspector's revelation that a young girl has committed suicide. All the characters deny that they knew her but little by little their involvement is revealed…
There is excellent acting from the cast (Liam Brennan is Inspector Goole, Jeffrey Harmer and Christine Kavanagh are the Birling parents, ably supported by Chloe Orrock and Ryan Saunders as the young siblings, Alasdair Buchan as the suitor and Linda Beckett as Edna, the (almost) silent help. The special effects, including the rain and mist and the surprising and sudden fate of the house itself, are very well done (the latter definitely making the audience jump!). The cast is supplemented by 3 children and eight supernumeraries ("extras") playing the crowd.
In this version, directed by Billy Liar's Stephen Daldry, the play runs through to its thought-provoking conclusion without an interval and, given the huge number of school-age children present and coaches delivering them to the venue, it is presumably on the current school curriculum so the arrival of the play in Malvern is not only very welcome but timely too.
Note - there are now *very* few tickets available but if you have one for the Thursday matinée, there is also a post-show talk to enjoy.