This An Inspector Calls review focuses on the reimagined Priestley play, Liam Brennan’s performance as Inspector Goole and the play’s darkly comic moments. It also explores the thinly veiled threat that lurks beneath the satire. The show is worth watching for its wry wit and sharply observed characters.
Daldry’s reimagining of Priestley’s play
Stephen Daldry’s production of Priestley’s classic moral mystery is an extraordinary feat. The play is lucid, physically daring, and thrillingly in sync with its narrative. It reminds us that stage design is not just a craft; it is an art.
The production has received acclaim for its graphic take on a 1912 play. This neo-Hitchcockian re-imagining of Priestley’s play has been hailed as a modern retelling of the story of the inspector who investigates the death of a young girl. It won four Tony Awards and continues to tour around the world.
Daldry’s production uses lavish visual tableaux in a dollhouse-like setting. The play’s actors move about and look at one another in a way that is both dazzling and evocative. Its set is an Edwardian house designed by Ian MacNeil that looks like it was damaged in the Second World War. The foundations of the house are visible and crockery falls to the floor.
Liam Brennan’s performance as Inspector Goole
Liam Brennan delivers an outstanding performance as Inspector Goole. He juggles two roles perfectly and glides across the stage with the grace of a ballerina. He also plays the role of a jury and judge, which makes his performance even more compelling. The other major role in the play is played by Lianne Harvey, who exhibits a stunning range as Sheila Birling.
The play is set in 1914, just before World War I, and the production is a gripping thriller. The play begins with the mysterious Inspector Goole visiting the Birling family’s home. Goole’s investigations soon disrupt a peaceful dinner party, leaving the family frightened and confused. This engrossing performance features atmospheric lighting and designs by Ian MacNeil. The production is on tour until late May 2023, with stops at the Lowry and Lyric Theatres.
Darkly comic moments
Director Jim McNabb’s An Inspector Calls is a mid-century drama that’s not without its darkly comic moments. While the production doesn’t quite live up to Priestley’s intentions, it does manage to elicit chuckles from the audience. It also uses its production values to slyly comment on politics.
In this British comedy, the Birling family, which consists of Arthur and Sybil, are portrayed in a comical light. As the protagonists, these characters are essentially victims of class prejudice. Eva is a shop girl, but the family is cruel to her.
Thinly veiled threat
Despite being adapted from a stage play, An Inspector Calls manages to avoid clogging the screen with dialogue and plot. The excellent writing of Desmond Davis and Priestley’s original source material aid this cause. What starts as a one-room interrogation piece ends up taking the audience out of the room in a brilliant finale.
The film’s unnerving atmosphere is further enhanced by the use of music, some of which is heavy-handed. The script, though, is thought-provoking. Inspector Sim delivers many of the film’s finest lines. Though there are some unsettling moments, there’s no reason to let it ruin your enjoyment of this movie.
When an Inspector Calls is performed in the theater, the audience may experience a sense of class division. The play, which was originally written by J.B. Priestley, depicts the class division in a complex and compelling way. The plot is cleverly interwoven and the storyline is full of addictive twists. In 1992, it was revived for a National Theatre production and national tour. Stephen Daldry directed the production.
During the play, the Inspector and his wife Eva are confronted by a social dilemma. Eva, who has just been fired, is the victim of a social injustice and is labelled as a lower class member. Neither Eva nor her husband are able to accept this fact. Both are convinced that the Inspector is not an unbiased and fair judge. However, the Inspector is determined to change this.