Last Updated on 27th May 2016
Twenty Five years after it’s first appearance at the National Theatre, Stephen Daldry’s award-winning production of J B Priestley’s An Inspector Calls will return to the West End this winter at the Playhouse Theatre.
Since 1992, This production of An Inspector Calls has won a total of 19 major awards, including four Tony Awards and three Olivier Awards, playing to more than 4 milion theatregoers worldwide, making it the most internationally-lauded production in the National Theatre’s history.
J B Priestley’s brilliantly constructed masterpiece powerfully dramatises the dangers of casual capitalism’s cruelty, complacency and hypocrisy. Stephen Daldry’s epic production highlights the play’s enduring relevance.
Written at the end of the Second World War and set before the First, An Inspector Calls is a compelling and haunting thriller. The story begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family home. Their peaceful family dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young woman.
Daldry comments: “Each time we have mounted this production it seems more relevant than the last, with the refugee crisis, the European referendum debate and American elections, you can’t fail to see the genius of Priestley’s writing. When we created this production, Thatcher wanted the country to follow ‘Edwardian Values’, we set out to bring the production to audiences in a way that would talk directly to them, holding a mirror up to society and indeed the audience themselves. Whilst we believe we achieved that, it’s clear from our recent tour that there’s a younger media savvy generation who identify with Eva Smith more than the Birling family. Perhaps an indication of the growing void between wealth and poverty. When we performed at the Orchard theatre in Dartford last September, the world had just learned of the desperate tragedy of Aylan Kurdi, ‘One Eva Smith has gone-but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do…”