Written by J.B. Priestley in 1944 (and metaphorically set in 1912), An Inspector Calls expresses the playwright's concerns for common people trapped by a class system based too much on money and too little on human worth.
Its immediate story takes place in an English industrial city "when a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. A police inspector calls to interrogate the family (in their elegant dining room, the setting of the play), and during the course of his questioning all members of the family are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl's undoing." Mystery surrounds the play as questions arise about who the Inspector is. The eminent family turns out to be selfish, evasive, and of questionable responsibility, especially in its apparent lack of concern for those less fortunate than they...such as the girl, a worker in the factory owned by the family.
The Eventide production involves also a choral surround in the Greek chorus tradition, but in this case representing poor workers, indigent women, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and the homeless of the period. The text for this chorus -- a wide range of poetry and "datelines" (news accounts) said by individuals of the chorus during breaks in the play's action -- variously comments on the action, paints mood and atmosphere, provides historical frameworks and perspectives (including the very near and contemporary), and supplies triggers for thought and reflection about the play's issues in a variety of contexts.
Appropriate for ages 12 and older.
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