Tuesday, September 22

An Inspector Calls

- February 26, 2020

Stephen Daldry’s production of what is billed as JB Priestly’s classic thriller never fails to delight, even on a third viewing. Thriller it is in many ways, twisting and turning as it does, but it is surely far more than that. This production certainly edges into the realms of the surreal as the complex story unfolds and each of the privileged characters reveal themselves.

The cast in this most recent production are good but at the head of the performance is Liam Brennan, the eponymous Inspector. This is truly great performance, cool, reserved and dark, his commanding presence is as scary for the audience at is is for the nouveau riche members of the assembled, all bustled and frock coated, mannered and entitled. And they wriggle and twist and turn under his presence. In sharp contrast the stage is populated by the poor and underprivileged at various times as the story unfolds.

All this works well, but at the centre of this production is a truly magnificent piece of staging and a quite brilliant set, stunning lighting and impressive effects – smog, smoke, rain and mist lend a cinematic air to the whole.

Running at just over 100 minutes with no interval the real evidence of the power of this production is that in a theatre, packed with teenagers on school trips, the audience was rapt throughout, one could have heard a pin drop.

Theatre Royal Brighton

25 February

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★☆

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