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Friday, 20 September 2019

An Inspector Calls | Mayflower Theatre

An Inspector Calls is a play that is familiar with so many people, as it's a popular GCSE text and has been adapted for television. Somehow, though, I have managed to get to my mid-twenties without really knowing the story at all. I had heard the name and knew little snippets but nothing in detail. I was really looking forward to having the opportunity to seeing it onstage at the Mayflower Theatre*.

Written by J.B. Priestley and first performed in 1945, the drama takes place on one night in April 1912, in the fictional town of Brumley. The Birling family are an upper middle-class family, who live in a comfortable home and are having a dinner to celebrate the engagement of daughter Shelia to Gerald Croft. Midway through their evening, the family are visited by Inspector Goole, who questions the family's involvement in the suicide of a young, working-class woman. Each character is questioned, and comes to understand their impact on this young woman's life. In true mystery style, there are a few twists and turns, and the ending left me slightly gobsmacked.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

The acting and the interesting set decisions kept me engaged throughout, and I really enjoyed the show. Seeing the way each character reacted to the suggestion that they had caused the young woman to commit suicide was really interesting. The younger generation were willing to accept how their actions have an effect on other people, while the older generation were quick to revert to their former way of thinking, that they had nothing to do with it. I think this was a really interesting stand for the play to take. There is so much social criticism involved throughout the play, I can see why it is chosen as a key text for GCSE - I'm almost jealous that I didn't get to study it!
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
An Inspector Calls has got all the autumnal, Halloween feels, with a creepy aspect at the end. It totally left me questioning - who was Inspector Goole? Who was the working-class young woman? Did that actually just happen? I would thoroughly recommend it if you're looking for something that will keep you on your toes throughout. It kept me guessing right to the end - I even sat in my seat a little shell shocked by the end if I'm honest, it was that good!

An Inspector Calls is at the Mayflower Theatre until 21st September. Tickets are available online here and via the Box Office on 023 80711811.

* My tickets to the show were complimentary in return for my review, but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Love Lexie

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