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An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls Imagine that you are directing the play 'An Inspector Calls' and have to explain to the actress who is playing Sheila how you think her part should be played. Write the guidance to her. Dear Ms. Bolton, An Inspector Calls is a moralistic play that was written in 1945 by J. B. Priestley. The play is set in 1912, two years before the start of the First World War. J. B. Priestley wrote the play to convey his socialist ideas to people. He believed that the capitalist system Britain was under need to be changed, along with people's attitudes. Through his play, he wanted to show everyone that it isn't just themselves who they are responsible for, but others too, and that all your actions have consequences on others, even if you might not expect them to. At the beginning of the play, Priestley uses an extensive set of stage directions, which he uses as a dramatic device to show how cold and callous members of the Birling family are. Priestley also uses lighting skilfully as another dramatic device. He says that the lighting should be pink and warm at the start of the play, but when the inspector arrives, it should change to 'brighter and harder'. This gives the impression that at first the audience is seeing the family through almost rose tinted glasses, however, once the inspector arrives, the truth is revealed. ...read more.


However, she also has to show how greatly she has matured in just a matter of minutes, so she needs to be able to control her emotions, in contrast to how she was before. Show this by having Sheila take a breath - a sign of trying to compose yourself- before speaking to ask questions on the affair. Also, look right into the inspectors eyes, to show how her concern is genuine. Sheila needs to show how far she's progressed when she says 'These girls aren't cheap labour - they're people'. That is an obvious sign of Sheila's changed view on the world, and the audience need to be able to notice this. When you say that line, say it very clearly and look at the audience so you can communicate the message to them well. Emphasize 'people' as it's the key word in the sentence because it shows that Sheila is starting to see the world from a completely different angle than what she brought up to see it as. Sheila was the one who was had Eva dismissed from her job so you must show what tremendous guilt Sheila feels for her part in Eva's death. When Sheila is shown the picture of Eva, she needs to almost revert back to her old, immature and emotional self as she runs out of the room. ...read more.


Her family just sees it as a joke, and Sheila needs to show that she's disgusted by this. She says 'It frightens me the way you talk', because she can see that they're ready to forget what happened. Only she and Eric are able to see that the way they behaved was wrong, and is still wrong, whether anyone died or not. She's going to change the way she behaves because she now knows it can have consequences, but most of her family cannot see that, and are happy to continue the way they were before. Sheila understands the message that the inspector was trying to give. People are responsible for others and even if you don't see the detrimental effect something you do has, it still does have one. Just because you don't know the direct consequences of your actions doesn't mean that you should think there aren't any. Throughout the play, as Sheila's attitude begins to change, she becomes a mouthpiece for Priestley's socialist ideas. As the audience see Sheila develop, hopefully they will understand what she is saying and learn from it. Therefore, you have to remember to make clear Sheila's transition from a girl unaware of the outside world to a woman able to understand that every action has a consequence. At the start, remember you have to act childish, and by the end, you have to have the assertiveness and awareness of the grown woman Sheila has become. ?? ?? ?? ?? An Inspector Calls 1 ...read more.

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