BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Dolphin Theatre

BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Dolphin Theatre


Dolphin Theatre's An Inspector Calls is beautifully presented, illuminating the message of exploitation by those blinded by the walls of social status and money in an engaging and relevant piece.

This timeless classic is the masterpiece of J. B Priestly and it is acclaimed as his best work. The play takes place on a single night in April 1912, focusing on the upper middle-class Birling family, who receive a visit by a man calling himself Inspector Goole. He questions the family about the suicide of a young working-class woman, Eva Smith. All is not as it seems and as the play unfolds the association with this woman by each family member exposes shocking revelations.

Director Glenda Pearce has put together a superb production melding the set, technology, costumes and cast into a metaphor of social commentary. Her attention to detail has culminated in an authentic piece that is both true to the period in which it was written and relevant to today.

BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Dolphin TheatreThe set is clever, exposing life inside and outside the 'walls' of opulence, greed and social standing. The use of videoscape is a highlight and is cleverly presented.

Inspector Goole, John Palmer, is powerful as the voice of conscience; even those who fight his pointed humanity become suitably rattled.

Laura Beverly plays a sweet naive Shelia but she is the most open to honesty. She is willing to take some social responsibility despite her upbringing. Her performance is endearing and engaging.

Her sibling, the disillusioned, Eric played by Jo Secher seeks solace in alcohol while parents Sybil Donna Verey and Arthur Paul Norell are far too lost within their social conditioning to worry about anything else than their good name. They've done nothing wrong but who are they trying to convince?

Shelia's fiancé, played by Arthur Croft, while also victim of his social conditioning proves to have a heart and he and Shelia have more in common in the honesty stakes than it might seem. The younger generation were certainly more willing to see the error of their ways and shed some hope for the future.

BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Dolphin Theatre
Erin McCarthy has a strong presence on stage creating a eerie sadness in her role as Eva Smith.
Edna the maid, Jess Simpson, is authentic in her role and is also accentuates and incorporates the purpose of parts of the set. You need to see the play to understand!


In today's social climate this play is perhaps more relevant than it has ever been in my 50-something lifetime. My favourite quote from this play, In another world love could be a source of strength, prodded at me once again on opening night.
Get along and see it.

An Inspector Calls
22nd June - 8th July
Dolpin Theatre
12 Spring Street
Onehunga
Bookings: https://securepayments.dolphintheatre.org.nz/

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From This Author Monica Moore

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