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Imagine you are the director for a production of J B Priestley's "An Inspector Calls. Give detailed instructions to the actress playing Sheila about how you want her character portrayed."

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Introduction

Imagine you are the director for a production of J B Priestley's "An Inspector Calls. Give detailed instructions to the actress playing Sheila about how you want her character portrayed." "An Inspector calls" is set in Brumley, an industrial town in 1912 (During the Edwardian era). It is about members of a typical middle class family who, for various reasons, are implicated in the death of a working class woman. The play can be seen as a comment about priestly's views on socialism and clearly emphasises his belief that everyone is equal as human beings. Sheila is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Birling and is sister to Eric, who is the youngest member of the Birling family. Sheila is in her early twenties and is very happy with life; this is mainly due to her engagement to Gerald Croft, an upper class man. It is essential that you show Sheila's excitement at their engagement by using exaggerated exhalations of breath. And by making it visible in your body language how happy and fulfilled she is; for example, She must appear full of energy with a constant smile on her face. Hand gestures must be used to show of Sheila's engagement ring. Sheila is determined to be the centre of attention and demands that everyone must celebrate her engagement: "Yes, go on mummy you must drink to our health." ...read more.

Middle

As she ends their engagement and hands him back the ring she was admiring only an hour or so earlier, Sheila should speak coolly and should maintain eye contact with Gerald as she says: "I think you'd better take this with you - I don't dislike you as I did half an hour ago - I rather respect you more than I've ever done before." However it needs to be made clear that Sheila doesn't blame Gerald, after all Eva wasn't to know he was engaged to be married. It is obvious that she holds Gerald responsible and this should be shown by the bitterness that creeps into her voice when she recalls how he lied to her about his activities the previous summer. In this act, Sheila also needs to show bitterness in her voice towards her mother in response to the callousness Mrs Birling shows towards Eva. Her mother blankly refused Eva a small pay out from a woman's help service out of simple pettiness. This bitterness must be shown in the sharp way that Sheila says to her mother: "You mustn't try to build up a kind of wall between us and that girl. If you do, then the inspector will just break it down. And it'll be all the worse when she does." This demonstrates that even though she was brought up in a middle class household, she still doesn't separate herself from the rest of the world or think she is any better than lower class people are. ...read more.

Conclusion

And it was true, wasn't it? You turned the girl out of one job, and I had her turned out of another. Gerald kept her at a time when he was supposed to be too busy to see me. Eric - well, we know what Eric did. And mother hardened her heart and gave her the final push that finished her. That's what's important". You should not only direct your speech to the other actors, but also to the audience to gain their sympathy and realise the point you are trying to put across. As the character of Sheila you must remember that you have a very important role, in that you must present Priestly's message about accepting responsibility to the audience in such a way that everyone will understand and learn from. To do this you must show Sheila learning and developing throughout the play. The learning process is a difficult one and you must show this by displaying a wide range of emotions, which your audience will become aware of through your tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. As Sheila the costume you will be wearing will be periodic and consist of a long, white or innocence evening dress with, short, puffed sleeves. You should be wearing very little make-up or jewellery. This purity of appearance would show Sheila's innocence of not been corrupted by the outside world and this supports the idea that Sheila is the perfect candidate to voice Priestley's message. She is, after all the most likely candidate to learn! End of Memo ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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