REVIEW - Excellent thought-provoking theatre as An Inspector Calls comes to Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - Excellent thought-provoking theatre as An Inspector Calls comes to Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre

Bromsgrove Editorial 29th Nov, 2022 Updated: 29th Nov, 2022   0

THERE was plenty of thought-provoking theatre and social comment in equal measure during An Inspector Calls at Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre.

It started in dramatic fashion with fog-bringing dry ice and rain – perfect viewing for an autumn night.

As street urchins scampered about, an upper class family enjoyed a convivial evening celebrating an engagement.

All that was about to change as the Inspector arrived.

The clever set opened out and let us into the rich family’s world and the plot unfolded via the Inspector’s quizzing.

This production runs for an hour and 45 minutes (no interval) and you could be forgiven for wondering how – with just one set – the audience’s attention could be sustained.

The answer is the tight-knit cast who ensured the production was fast-paced through their excellently delivered dialogue.

George Rowlands was great as the young and fancy-free Eric, Simon Cotton played the self-entitled Gerald well and Christine Kavanagh ensured her portrayal of prim and proper and ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ Sylvia was sufficiently loathsome.

Likewise, Jeffrey Harmer was brilliant as head of the house Arthur.

The best performances of the evening, however, came from Evlyne Oyedokun as Sheila and Liam Brennan as Inspector Goole.

Picture by Mark Douet. s

The first sickly sweet and then fragile and thoughtful Sheila is the character who embarks on a real journey – one Oyedokun took the audience on with panache.

The Inspector is the glue holding it all together and is on stage almost all of the time. Brennan was faultless as he quizzed each family member before posing even more important questions to the audience.

This play is on the English Literature GCSE syllabus which probably explains why there were a lot of teens in the crowd.

One thing’s for certain – this production would have brought their study text to life, along with the meanings behind it and will hopefully have installed a few life messages along the way as well.

Picture by Mark Douet. s

An Inspector Calls runs at the Alexandra Theatre until Saturday, December 3. Tickets are selling fast though so get in quick – click here for more.

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