An Inspector Calls

by J.B.Priestley

directed by Tony Bull

Performed at the

Point Arts and Drama Centre, Eastleigh


21st to 25th April 1998


An Inspector Calls has become one of the best known of all J.B.Priestley’s plays and is rightly regarded as a classic of the English theatre.

Set in 1912 the play was actually written in the winter of 1944 - 1945. Priestley was a social critic of his time and in this play he first shows the audience a picture of middle class prosperity and outwardly certain respectability but then reveals the rottenness behind their pretensions. Arthur Birling the father figure exclaims; “You’d think everybody has to look after everybody else as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive community and all that.”

The peace and harmony of the family gathering is soon to be shattered when an Inspector calls who reminds the Birlings of their social responsibility for each other and society generally. He tells them; “The time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson then they will be taught it in fire, and blood, and anguish”

The inspector’s warning is clearly not merely to the Birling family but to the whole of Europe of 1912 about to enter the First World War.

Undoubtedly Priestley, who served in the Great War, would have been motivated to write the play because of his experiences in the ‘war to end all wars’ and the disaster of World War Two, which could yet again be attributed to man’s refusal to learn the lesson that we are all members of one body. That warning is still relevant for our own time.

An Inspector Calls was first presented in Moscow in 1945 and subsequently in London the following year. It has been translated into scores of different languages and shown throughout the world and become one of the most popular plays of the past fifty years.

Arthur Birling Ken Spencer
Sybil Birling - his wife Hazel Burrows
Sheila Birling - his daughter Sarah O’Leary
Eric Birling - his son Steve Haigh
Edna - the maid Christine Baker
Gerald Croft Jeremy King
Inspector Goole Brian Fullaway
For the Maskers
Directed by Tony Bull
Stage Manager Martin Ingoe
Set Designer Ken Spencer
Set Construction Geoff Cook, Brian Langford, Douglas Shiell
Lighting Designer Ron Tillyer
Wardrobe Sheana Carrington
Wardrobe Hire Bristol Costume Services
Properties and set dressing Ella Lockett and Irene Shiell
Front of House Manager Derek Leslie
Front of House Staff Members of the Maskers
Photography Clive Weeks
Scenic Decoration Students of Southampton City College



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Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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