An Inspector Calls

By J. B. Priestley

Synopsis:

“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.

An Inspector Calls
This show was performed at The Mission Theatre, Bath in December 2009.

Supper menu:

  • Curried butternut squash soup served with crusty bread - £4.50

  • or
  • Egg Florentine Salad - £4.50

  • Turkey Feuilletes (Puff pastry parcel filled with creamy turkey mix)

  • or
  • Parsnip and Chestnut Crumble

  • or
  • Banoffi Pie

  • or
  • Caramelised Oranges with Cardamom Custard Cream

  • Teas and coffees to finish.

Director/s | Cast:

Claire Rumball

Claire Rumball

Director

Tim Evans

Tim Evans

Inspector Goole

Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn

Arthur Birling

Alison Paine

Alison Paine

Sybil Birling

Yvonne Paulley

Yvonne Paulley

Sheila Birling

Guy Williams

Guy Williams

Eric Birling

Nicky Wilkins

Nicky Wilkins

Gerald Croft

Hayley Fitton

Hayley Fitton

Edna

Review/s of An Inspector Calls:

Review 1: Cast passes inspection

Part mystery, part morality play, An Inspector Calls never fails to entertain and this Next Stage production, directed by Claire Rumball, is no exception. The cast lives up to what are pretty demanding parts, bringing new life to a play that has been around for more than 60 years. JB Priestley’s drama, set in 1912, explores what was to become an era of explosive social change through one family of…click here to read the whole review.

By Jackie Chappell, Bath Chronicle

Show and rehearsal photographs: