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"An Inspector Calls".

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Introduction

Helen Brockley My Favourite Play Having been to many theatre productions ranging from musicals to Shakespeare, I found it very difficult to choose a play to write about. However, having seen "An Inspector Calls" a number of times, and studied it for A.S level, the play has become one of my all time favourites. "An Inspector Calls" is a play with more than one main characteristic which caused me to notice all the hidden meanings and morals J.B Priestly wanted to convey. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestly was first performed in 1945. The play was set in 1912 before the war and centres around the wealthy Birling family. A visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole proves to be a horrifying experience for the Birling's as they learn that they have all played a part in the suicide of a young girl called Eva Smith. His startling revelations not only shatter the very foundations of their lives, but challenge us all to examine our consciences. Priestley's main aim was to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions, not to shift the blame on to others. The moral of `An Inspector Calls' is that no matter what class we are we are all equal and that we must work together. Priestly attempted to convey his attitudes and ideas through the characters in the play. ...read more.

Middle

We are responsible for each other'. Responsibility is one of the play's two key themes, and the Inspector is Priestley's vehicle for putting across his own views of this as a socialist. In this final speech, he is spoke as much to the audience as to the characters on stage. His words here were a warning to an audience in 1945 not to repeat the selfish mistakes that led to the two World Wars and the years between them. The inspector's costume was much different to the rest of the Cast as he was made to convey the future, dressed in 1945 clothing. "An inspector calls" at Stoke-on-Trent relies heavily on visuals to create the atmosphere Stephen Dauldry wanted. The set design was fantastic as it was very complex yet had hidden symbolism. I particularly enjoyed the first scene. The modern stage was decked out with a fake proscenium arch stage and its curtains rose to reveal a forties soundstage. As soon as the curtains rose, and the Birling's house was seen, I could tell it was going to be a fabulous production. The director had taken time to think that about the out of proportioned lamppost and the distaughted telephone box, two of which I did not notice until the middle of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

For me, it particularly enhanced the Inspector's first entrance and created a characteristic "film noir" and contrasted with the warm gas lights in the house. When the Inspector wore his trench coat and his trilby hat the side lighting cast his shadow across the whole set, particularly the Birling's house. I thought it had conjured up associations with 1940's cinema. When he shouted "Stop" a floodlight came on and it felt as if a search light had been switched on and we, as an audience were being inspected. This speech was the most important of the play and the lighting effect combined with the actor's direct address to the audience enhanced the playwright's and the director's main message. I also thought it was effective how Nicholas Day (Inspector) spoke in his own voice and not the characters making it clear these were the author's words and not the characters. Overall "An Inspector Calls" is my all time favourite play as it made you think about it when you left the theatre. It made you think about the messages Priestly and Dauldry were trying to convey and how they did. It personally made me think about life and whether I have fulfilled my social responsible and looked out for others. It made me want to look out for people just like the inspector said. "One Eva Smith has gone- but there are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us...we don't live alone. We are members of one body". ...read more.

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