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An Inspector Calls Director's Letter

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An Inspector Calls Director's Letter PK Stage Productions 2a Hamilton House Chelsea London 13 July 2002 Dear Miss Samantha Bradshaw, Firstly I must send my thanks for the accepting the part of Sheila in An Inspector Calls. You were certainly the best women for the job. I have put together a short, general description of how I would like you to play the part and also some information on the play and the time that it set... The play is set in a middle/upper class home in 1912 in Britain. The play involves mainly a father, mother, son, daughter (Sheila.) and her fianc�. The father, Mr Birling, is a prosperous factory owner and has married into an upper class family. He thinks that he has made the family what it is and likes to be very much in control of every situation. It was also quite evident that he wants to protect his family, particularly Sheila. His wife, Mrs Birling is from a well-off upper class family and she is very set in her ways; she believes what she believes and thinks everyone else should do the same. Sheila's brother, Eric, is a young boy, who at the start of the play is already rather drunk. As the play goes on, the audience should learn that Eric is a very deep young man who has a lot of troubles; he does not agree with his parent's attitudes to certain aspects of life. Sheila's relationship with Eric is not very good at the start of the play; they squabble frequently but it improves. ...read more.


At the mention of this Gerald becomes very surprised and asks the Inspector to repeat himself. When Gerald becomes shocked, it is essential that you are looking at him - otherwise Sheila will not be able to assume that he knew her. When the Inspector leaves the room with Eric and Sheila starts to quiz Gerald about this girl, she gets extremely annoyed with him for avoiding the questions. You should start to quicken your speak and also increase in volume - this will show the state of Sheila's temper. At the very, very end of the Act 1, there is a very significant point when Sheila "laughs rather hysterically" and calls Gerald a "fool". Gerald still believes that he may have got away with the connection he had with the dead girl but Sheila knows otherwise. She is completely in control of the situation and it very unusual as she is meant to be the 'girl' of the household and women were considered less intelligent than men in that era. It is very ironic that the young, pretty girl knows what is happening in a situation when the young, man does not. The Inspector then enters the stage and tension is great. The Inspector knows that they have been discussing Gerald's involvement with this girl's life and he has come back to discover the truth. Sheila is relaxed as she was expecting this to happen and she believes that Gerald with tell the truth. In Act 1 Sheila begins as a very silly, pretentious, giddy and excited young lady. ...read more.


Eric blames his mother, because he knows what she is like and how she can separate herself and her family from other people of other classes. Sheila tells her family that they have not learnt anything by the evening's experiences. They are all very glad when they realise that the Inspector was not actually a policeman. They seem to feel like they have been let off the hook. Mr Birling thought that his chances of being on the honour's list would be ruined in the evening's events became public knowledge so he was extremely pleased to discover he wasn't a police inspector. However, the now mature, deep and perceptive Sheila adds that it doesn't matter whether he was a police inspector or not, he was still an inspector and he inspected them. They discovered things about themselves that even they didn't know; yet this stranger did. Sheila realised that she had been through an emotional turmoil and she wanted to leave with something. She grows as a character. So, to summarise, Sheila is a na�ve and giddy in Part 1. She then becomes a bit excitable, angry and upset in Part 2. In Part 3 she is still angry but is a bit more thoughtful and analysing. As the play is set in the 1910's, costume is essential. Fashions were changing very rapidly during the turn of the 20th Century so Sheila would probably be wearing a corseted dress with very elaborate accessories. The production company upon arrival at the playhouse, of course, will provide these. Remember, Sheila 'growing' as a character from Act to Act becoming angrier, then thoughtful, deep and forgiving. Page 1 ...read more.

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