Bromley Churchill Theatre – until 14 September 2019
Reviewed by Adam Craddock
JB Priestley’s classic thriller An Inspector Calls is one of the all time literary classics. Combining suspense and intrigue with the occasional bit of comedy and lightheartedness, this play is one of the best to come out of the 20th century. I was initially a bit apprehensive about picking up this review as I have seen a couple of productions of this play staged before and they have missed the ball, however this new production from Stephen Daldry well and truly hits the mark. Daldry has assembled a cast of some of Britain’s best natural actors and they deliver quite possibly the best performance of this text that I have seen!
Alasdair Buchan is strong as Gerald Croft, with a great command of the stage and a beautiful sense of his heightened state. Chloe Orrock was brilliant as Sheila Birling. She had an amazing youthful energy that really shone out on stage and her performance really captured me. Ryan Saunders was good as Eric Birling, with some beautiful acting at the end of the show, although I did struggle to hear him sometimes at the beginning. Christine Kavanagh was fair as Sybil Birling, portraying her as brilliantly awful and really hitting a good spot with this awful character. Jeffrey Harmer was strong as Arthur Birling, with some brilliant control over his space on show and a real sense of status with his character. Bravo! However my absolute highlight in this show was Liam Brennan as Inspector Goole. Brennan was absolutely captivating in this performance, beautifully teetering on the edge of clinical and madman. His performance was one of those where from now on I can only imagine one man in this role.
As you can see I absolutely loved this production, however I do have one criticism. When they mentioned they were setting the production in Bromley (the town it is currently showing in) it was a nice little nod to the audience and got a good reaction. However proceeding to mention it multiple times thereafter felt like it was forcing this down my throat and really just felt a little bit silly in the end, as if it was almost a pantomime. A shame because otherwise I could not fault this production. An Inspector Calls closes in Bromley on 14th September