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An Inspector call @ The Regent- Review

A family celebration at the turn of the century which takes a sinister turn. If you want to be on the edge of your seat I urge you to go and see J B Preistley’s An Inspector Calls, the National Theatre’s touring production opened on Tuesday 4th October at the Regent Theatre, Hanley, Stoke on Trent and runs until Saturday 8th October with direction by Stephen Daldry. This visit to the theatre was unusual for me as I very rarely go to see a play as I usually go to see the range of musicals which visit. This was a very interesting and enjoyable change. The atmosphere of the thriller which was to follow was created at the outset using music, air raid sirens, lighting and lots of smoke. The curtain rises on one of the best touring sets I have seen with the sounds of a family dinner which are coming from the house that appears from the smoke. The Birling family are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila to wealthy Gerald Croft. There is then a knock on the door and it is Inspector Goole who proceeds to question the dinner guests to further his investigation into the suicide of a young woman earlier that day in the Infirmary. He turns this family upside down, inside out, unearthing secrets, creating doubt, distrust and suspicion a amongst them and making some of them think about the consequences of their selfish actions by explaining cause and effect. There is a cast of seven, Liam Brennan as the mysterious Inspector Goole, Christine Kavanagh as Sybil Birling, Jeffrey Harmer as Arthur Birling, Simon Cotton as Gerald Croft, Evlyne Oyedokun as Sheila Birling, George Rowlands as Eric Birling and Frances Campbell. Each performance is extremely accomplished and faultless. The play runs for 1 hour and 50 minutes with no interval, which I personally found a little heavy going and believe it would benefit from an interval to enable the audience to understand and digest the story unfolding on stage. The technical aspects of the show are excellent from the lighting design, special effects which made me jump out of my seat at one point and the excellent set design by Ian MacNeil. If you enjoy an atmospheric thriller which gets you thinking then this is the play for you. An Inspector Calls runs until Saturday 8th October at the Regent Theatre, Hanley, Stoke on Trent. For all tickets and show times please click the link below:


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