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How successfully does Daldrey interpret Priestley's text 'An Inspector Calls' for the audience?

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Introduction

How successfully does Daldrey interpret Priestley's text 'An Inspector Calls' for the audience? In the opening of the first scene of Stephen Daldrey's interpretation of 'An Inspector Calls' the first thing we initially see is children climbing out of holes in the stage floor and sirens can be heard, with dramatic music playing in the background. The holes are portrayed as air raid shelters and the sirens are typical of the war. Daldrey is trying to build up a picture of World War Two. Then as the curtain rises, we see a bombsite. The stage is dark and we can see smoke rising from the ground making it look gloomy. Children can be seen playing in the rubble from the bombsite. This shows us that it is the younger generation who are effected by the war, and when it comes down to it, it is the children that will suffer. The Birling's house is raised above from the ground. This shows that the Birling's think of themselves to be above everyone and everything else. They think of themselves to be a different status altogether. The house is all lit up, showing that they are trying to ignore the war around them because they are ignoring the black rule. Laughing can be heard from inside the house. This clashes in comparison with the gloomy atmosphere outside. The Birling's come across to be careless. They have an upper class life compared to other people. The Birling's are all drinking Jin; Mr. Birling can be heard talking above the rest. When the inspector arrives, he stands near the house. He is stood on the street level. This shows that he represents the poor and the ordinary. He is wearing a mob suit, and carrying a mob case. This could possibly mean that he had been fighting in the war. The focus is deliberately taken off the house when the inspector arrives. ...read more.

Middle

At this, Eric had to leave her on her own with the child. The Inspector's final speech is a very important part of the play. When the inspector first arrives, the mood all changes. Right from the beginning of the play, the audience paid special attention to the inspector. The Birling's Began to argue about the whole Eva Smith situation; each of them had their own perspective and views on what happened to her. It seemed like they were trying to push the blame onto one another. Just as their shouting began to get out of hand, the inspector showed authority putting them in their place by shouting 'Stop!'. At this, The Birling's stopped shouting and turned to look at the inspector. In Daldrey's version of the play, when the inspector shouted stop, the lighting changed. This could be to show the change in the mood and atmosphere. He continued 'And be quiet for a moment and listen to me.' The inspector is taking charge of the situation. He is telling them to stop arguing and listen to what he has to say. He informed the Birling's that 'This girl killed herself- and dies a horrible death. But each of you helped to kill her. Remember that. Never forget it.' He is telling them that they cannot push the blame onto each other, but that it was in fact all of them that drove Eva Smith to killing herself. By telling them to always remember what they have done, he is saying that they should always think twice before looking down on people and treating them with less respect then they deserve. In Daldrey's interpretation, the inspector is addressing the audience with this speech. The inspector brings the Birling's down onto the street level, taking away their superiority. This tells me that he is lecturing not just the Birling's, but us as well. We can all learn a lesson from what had happened to poor Eva Smith. ...read more.

Conclusion

Birling is making a mockery of the whole thing. Despite the fact that he is scaring Sheila with his smug attitude, he persists to make a joke of it telling her that she will have a good laugh over it yet. Apart from Sheila and Eric, the rest are pretending that everything is as it was before. In Daldrey's interpretation, Sheila is not just addressing her family but she is directing this speech at the audience as well, just as the inspector did; showing that we can all learn something from this. She continued to talk about the inspector and how he made her feel. She described her feelings as 'Fire and blood and anguish'- these are strong war related words, and her feelings are emphasized by using three words together to describe the way she feels. She told her family that the way they talk frightens her, Eric agrees with her. At the end of the play, the phone rings, and Mr Birling receives the news that a girl had died after swallowing disinfectant, and a police inspector is on his way round to ask them some questions. It is here that they feel the guilt of what happened that night. We are put in the position of being back at the beginning of the play again. -Daldrey interpreted this scene dramatically. A man came to the Birling's baring news that the girl had died. At this moment, Sheila and Eric are still on the street and the rest of them are in the house. When they hear the news, The Birling's house swings open; Dramatic music is playing to emphasize the mood and a cloud of mist appears adding to the atmosphere. This relates back to the beginning of the play once more, when the house opened as the inspector arrived. The house is then destroyed and the curtain falls. When the curtain comes back up, we see a bright blue sky in comparison to the dull sky previously. This could symbolise a new beginning. Hannah Aspin ...read more.

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