An Inspector Calls is possibly one of the most famous plays ever written, known to millions who have studied it at school and millions more who will have enjoyed various productions over a number of decades.
The U.K. First saw An Inspector Calls in 1946, and it opened on Broadway the following year. Written by J.B. Priestley and set in 1912, it tells the story of a well-to-do family who are visited one evening by a mysterious ‘Inspector Goole’ who questions them about the death of a young woman.
This production is Directed by Stephen Daldry, who previously directed An Inspector Calls at The National Theatre in 1992 and on tour in 2011/12.Inspector Goole is played by Liam Brennan who expertly builds up the anger and frustration of the character, giving an emotional final monologue.
Barbara Martin as Mrs. Birling gives a truly wonderful performance, to the point that even her hair seems to quiver with indignation. Hamish Riddle, making his professional debut as Eric Birling, stole the show portraying a whole range of emotions and taking the audience along for the ride.
There is no doubt this is a taught thriller, which despite its age can still mesmerise and shock audiences in equal measure. An Inspector Calls can do this through the writing and acting alone, so some elements of the staging; meant to highlight the family stepping down from their elevated status, do eventually appear self-indulgent, even distracting.
That said, An Inspector Calls is still a stunning production, with an incredible cast that leaves us questioning our own moral compass as much as we do the characters on stage.