An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. In the play the Inspector Goole, who is played by award winning Chris Millington, calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family and their peaceful dinner party is shattered by his investigations into their involvement in the death of a young woman whom each in turn has exploited.
Arthur Birling – Keith Cummings
Gerald Croft – Mathew Jones
Sheila Birling – Alison Roberts
Sybil Birling – Elaine Elliott
Eric Birling – Mark Simons
Inspector Goole – Chris Milllington
Edna – Rose Floyd
Directed by Michael Philips
Lighting and Sound by Dave Mason
Costumes by Christine Powell
Prompt Jill Atkins
Publicity Dave Millard
Press Officer Matt Mitchell
Programme Terry Perkins
An Inspector Calls
Reveiw by Joy Pudney (Harlow Star )
COMPANY’S ROUTINE INSPECTION
In his position as joint Harlow council leader, you would think Chris Millington is familiar with visits from inspectors. After all, Audit Commission representatives are regular visitors to the civic centre to access the authority’s performance.
Indeed, Mr Millington may well have drawn on these experiences when he took on the lead role in this J B Priestley classic. Midlands industrialists the Birlings- Arthur (Keith Cummings), Sybil (Elaine Elliott), daughter Sheila (Alison Roberts), and son Eric (Mark Simons) – are celebrating Sheila’s engagement to businessman Gerald Croft (Richard Holliss) when they are interrupted by Inspector Goole (Chris Millington), who is investigating the suicide of a local woman.
What ensures is a twist on the popular ‘whodunnit’ as the Inspector details the last two years of her wretched life and insists someone drove her to take her life.
One by one the group confess how their lives had entwined with hers , but there is something not right about Goole and they realise he isn’t all he makes out to be.
Cummings and Millington were captivating as competing alpha males vying to gain control and Roberts, while hamming it up a little at times, was pleasing to watch.
Holliss complemented her well and was at ease with his role, but Simons was less so and at times appeared stilted.
The play’s quality rollercoasters so greatly, creating superb tension before a disappointng ending, that this was a case of the cast making the best of less-than-great material.
While doing extremely well to draw out the themes of responsibility, class and sex, the company may do well to carry out their own audit and leave Priestley alone for the foreseeable future.
Karen Hart (Guardian Waltham Forest)
Global Theatre Company, again produced a first class evening’s entertainment with their recent production of J B Priestley’s atmospheric and thought provoking play, ‘An InspectorCalls’.
The play opens with the Birling family, headed by prosperous Midland Industrialist, Arthur Birling, enjoying a quiet family dinner party and celebrating the announcement of daughter Sheila’s wedding engagement.
Their evening is interrupted by the sudden arrival of the mysterious Inspector Goole, who proceeds to question each family member in turnas to their connection with a recently deceased young woman, believed to have taken her own life. Chris Millington was well cast in the part of Inspector Goole, his sardonic delivery lending his character the very air of mysterious superiority he requires. Keith Cummings as Arthur Birling, father of the family and Elaine Elliott as the mother, Sybil, both created strong, well rounded characters; the gradual disintegration of their self-centred existence was shown with much feeling here.
Mark Simons showed considerable talent in his sensitive portrayal of Eric, the Birlings drunken, wayward son, as did Alison Roberts in the role of his romantic sister, Sheila, with both actors displaying a real aptitude for these emotionally challenging roles.
The character of Gerald Croft, Sheila’s fiancee with a secret past was given a nice mix of respectability and naivete by Richard Holliss, who despite having to learn the part with just days to go manageda faultless performances.
This was an accomplished ensemble productions, with each cast member putting in a thoughtful and polished performance. The simple but stylish set created the feeling of an upper-class drawing room and the sound and lighting was excellent. An accomplished production and a great evening’s entertainment.