I’m not sure I fully appreciated this play when studying it for GCSE, but then again I’m not sure I fully appreciated anything at 16.
Now however in the cold light of Brexit and Trump, much like Sheila and Eric Birling I find myself changed.
I can’t help thinking how sad it is to think that J.B.Priestly’s plea for social responsibility, compassion and tolerance, originally made in 1945, has been almost completely ignored.
In an ideal world this play should feel outdated, and yet it feels more poignant than ever.
This particular staging has a great, old black and white movie quality about it. The eery music, the rain, steam all work together beautifully to give a nostalgic feeling.
The showstopper however has got to be the life-size dolls house. I’ve never seen set design like it. It’s simply genius and takes the idea of a drawing room drama to completely new levels. Propped up on stilts surrounded, by bleak waste land, it is a reminder that though things may stand above everything else, when you begin to shake them up, they easily topple down
And when it comes to shaking things up, there’s no-one better than Inspector Goole. Played by Liam Brennan, who is the perfect combination of disgusted, provocative and authoritative.
We meet the Birling family on a night of grandeur and celebration, and in the midst of them all feeling very pleased with themselves, an Inspector calls.
He tells us that a woman, named Eva Smith has committed suicide. Then we watch, as he systematically implicates every one of them for her death. Not in a Cludo kind of way, there’s no candlestick, no Mr Green. No, the Inspector has no claims of physical violence to place; what he reveals is much worse.
Because each one of us in the audience can relate and recall being guilty of at least one of the five acts which pushed Eva to commit suicide.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not only is this show a marvellous spectacle to behold it is also an excellent probe for the mind and conscience.
If you’re looking for tickets you can get them here and I would highly recommend that you do.