“I remember what he said, how he looked, and what he made me feel. Fire and blood and anguish.” (Act 3)
Sheila Birling is a pretty young woman, the daughter of a prosperous manufacturer, recently engaged to an exceedingly eligible young man. Her life is one of comfort and security. Not for Sheila a dingy lodging house and paltry pay for long hard graft at her father’s factory.
And yet that other existence, of which she is unaware on a spring evening in 1912, is closer to her than one might think. After a celebratory dinner with her family and fiancé, a Police Inspector Goole pays a visit. All of those present, not just Sheila, are forced to confront their role in the ghastly suicide of Eva Smith - a pretty young woman with big dark eyes not unlike Sheila herself…
J.B.Priestley wrote An Inspector Calls in 1945 when he was at the height of his powers as a writer. His pre-First World War setting for the play hauntingly foretells the near future (Priestley served as an Infantryman seeing active frontline service).
Claire Rumball (A Taste of Honey) directs this gripping play in-the-round at The Mission Theatre with an outstanding cast of Next Stage actors: Dave Dunn (Mr Birling); Alison Paine (Mrs Birling); Yvonne Paulley (Sheila Birling); Guy Williams (Eric Birling); Nicky Wilkins (Gerald Croft); Hayley Fitton (Edna) and Tim Evans as Inspector Goole.
On the surface An Inspector Calls is a gripping ‘whodunit’, but this simple analysis belies the carefully constructed building of suspense, the depth of each character and the pervasive moral message in this iconic play.
Pre-show suppers are available on Thursday to Saturday evenings at £15, see menu below. To book please ring The Mission Theatre Box Office on 01225 428600.
This show was performed at The Mission Theatre, Bath in December 2009.