Stephen Daldry’s haunting production of AN INSPECTOR CALLS is in MK this week and it’s one call you won’t stop hearing
I was back at Milton Keynes Theatre last night and boy, was it busy.
An Inspector Calls is on the GCSE syllabus and the hoards of students who came to see it last night is a sign that revision prep must be well underway!
What if you haven’t read it for your studies? What to expect? Well…
A Period thriller. A suicide with someone to blame? A privileged and wealthy family who may have something to hide?
These are all things that will suck you in to the story of An Inspector Calls but they are by no means the bones that you will unearth there.
There’s something deeper, darker and spooky in there, but rather than running away with the ideas of ghosts, I think it’s more about the spirits you find inside yourself and all of man(woman)kind.
The story is about the apparent suicide of a young girl and a wealthy family who are in the midst of celebrations being interviewed by an inspector who believes they might be involved.
The minute (and you might say, before) the curtain rises you realise this is not going to be just people talking text on a stage. This is theatre! (dramatic voice needed).
Stephen Daldry whose 1992 revival of An Inspector Calls is what we are seeing at Milton Keynes Theatre this week, is a major award-winning director across film, stage and television. His other works include The Hours and Billy Elliot (films) and The Crown (TV-Season 1).
It’s really exciting to see Wicked credited on his filmography for 2021. One of my fave musicals on stage and I can’t wait to see what magic Daldry works bringing it to the big screen.
It’s a great talent to be a director, but to be a director of TV, FILM AND THEATRE and spreading your talents across all those mediums seamlessly, winning awards for all. Brilliant.
That results in real moments of cinematic awe during An Inspector Calls. Where the set or effects help punch the story straight to your gawping self.
When the curtain first rose, I genuinely couldn’t see the back of the stage, not because of the light levels but because of the ingenious set in front of me that made me feel I was staring into a vortex, right into the world that was being played out. It made the hairs on my arms stand up.
But this play doesn’t hinge just on gimmicks. 1 hour 45 mins of near-continuous action. No interval and not much of a breather from the stage for some of the characters. This play is driven to your heart by the actors and their performances.
I was genuinely moved by An Inspector Calls. It bends your mind and time in a way you wouldn’t expect, when you think you’ve nailed it, it will twist you around one more time.
Wouldn’t it be great to see Daldry refresh the production and bend it even more?! YES!
Things to note:
Curtains up at 7.30pm.
Running time is 1 hour 45 mins and that is WITHOUT an interval. It’s a one sit, one shot show (and by god, it’s amazing because of it). So with that in mind be prepared with Mother Nature and maybe take a drink in with you.
An Inspector Calls is at Milton Keynes Theatre 21 – 25 January 2020
For full transparency, tickets to the show were kindly gifted to me from Milton Keynes Theatre.