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An Inspector calls

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An Inspector calls I sat down one evening to watch a prestigious BBC television performance of J.B Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' whole heartedly yet I found it was very disappointing and somewhat tedious from the outset. Firstly, my personal view is that for the majority of the whole production I think it may be fair for me to say that it was badly acted, yet towards the end many of the characters were improving and began to show their true potential, however by the time that this had arisen I was far from intrigued by what the cast had to say as I had lost interest with this melodramatic performance. My personal judgement is that Margaret Tyzack, who played Mrs Birling, was by far the poorest actress in the whole production. She was nothing like what J.B Priestley had intended her to be. The worst and most obvious mistake that she made was in her manner of speech. J.B Priestley clearly states in the preface of his play, that Mrs Birling is of a higher social class background and considerably more so than that of her husband Mr Birling, this can be identified by her R.P accent. However, when Margaret Tyzack was playing the role of Mrs Birling she had a particularly strong northern accent, which would have been far more appropriate to her on screen husband and fellow actor Nigel Davenport (Mr Birling). ...read more.


His accent was just that of what I had imagined it to be and his voice was very dominating, towards his family and that of the inspector as if he was letting them know that he was not going to openly admit that he had a part in Eva Smiths death without clearly putting his views across. The gestures that he made with his hands were also an indication to me that he was really getting into the role of Mr Birling in order to enhance his performance and achieve the task that he was set out to do. I was not altogether impressed by the role of Eric, Played by David Sybley, as he was supposed to be the youngest character in the whole play, although my personal view is that he looked considerably older than Gerald Croft, Played by Simon Ward, who was meant to be around 10 years older than Eric. I don't feel that Eric was allowed to show off his acting ability to its fullest. I don't think that Eric's ability to act drunk was very good. I felt that he could have put in a bit more effort to actually convince us that he does enjoy drinking in substantial amounts at a time, yet refuses to believe that he has a drink problem. ...read more.


It also shows the generation gap that Priestley develops later on in the play. Yet another bad point was noticeable within the camera shots the head camera man (Peter Ware) did not show any indication whatsoever that he knew what he was doing with the camera, even though I understand the concept of what he was trying to do the zoom shots that he did were very poor they looked frivolous and frenetic. I think that he may have been able to find a way of showing that something dramatic had happened and the air of surprise on peoples faces without making it look like an amateur video recording of a Victorian melodrama. In conclusion I think that 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestley is a work of a genius yet the BBC production made a total mockery of by the fact that it was not at all as J.B Priestley had intended it to be. However I am really glad that I have watched it, it was a good experience for me as it has shown me that the play is more than just a detective thriller and that there can actually be a funny side to it. Even if that is not what is originally intended, and i'm sure that there will always be a sense of mystery about this play, no matter how or where it is produced. ...read more.

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