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An Inspector Calls

by J.B. Priestley
20-23 February 2002


Inspector Goole Jeremy Austin
Arthur Birling Russ Guillaume
Sybil Birling Jan Bursby
Gerald Croft Tony Feltham
Sheila Birling Boo Dickson
Eric Birling Chris Piper
Edna Tracey Nicholls

Director Martin Matthews
Designer
Amanda Brown
Company Stage Manager
Tracey Nicholls
Lighting & Sound
Russell Parker / Tivoli Theatre
Costumes
Eclectia Costumes &
Carolyn Hewitt
Theatre Stage Manager
Ashley Thorne

Inspector Goole (Jeremy Austin) & Sybil Birling (Jan Bursby)

Sheila Birling (Boo Dickson), Gerald Croft (Tony Feltham) & Sybil Birling (Jan Bursby)

 

Inspector Goole (Jeremy Austin) & Sybil Birling (Jan Bursby)
Arthur Birling (Russ Guillaume) & Eric Birling (Chris Piper) Sheila Birling (Boo Dickson) & Gerald Croft (Tony Feltham)

THE notion that we are all responsible to each other in our lives was strikingly displayed in this J B Priestley drama of class prejudice and hypocrisy. It is set in early 1912 during a celebratory dinner party that is interrupted by the arrival of a police inspector with life-shattering news.
In the role of Inspector Goole a lugubrious Jeremy Austin skilfully peeled off the veneer of smug respectability of this upper-middle-class family like a good chat show host, allowing his interviewees to divulge their secrets with the minimum of intervention.
The self-justification of Sybil Birling (a superb Jan Bursby) and defensive rantings of her husband Arthur (a somewhat laboured performance by Russ Guillaume) served as a good foil to the younger members of the family, a generation prepared to accept the social changes taking place.
Boo Dickson and Tony Feltham gave robust performances as daughter Sheila and her finance Gerald Croft, well matched by Chris Piper, as son Eric, in a heartfelt and telling portrayal of a young blade restrained in a claustrophobic atmosphere.
Martin Matthews made a strong directorial debut with this production, which has smashed the company's previous box office records and played to near-full houses.
Linda Kirkman, Daily Echo

 

THE Tivoli Theatre boasted full houses last week when Wimborne Drama presented a four-day run of the classic play An Inspector Calls. A number of local schools including Corfe Hills and Queen Elizabeth's are studying J.B. Priestley's challenge to our role and responsibilities in society for this year's GCSE, and so there were many teenagers in the audience.
When reviewing a performance, it is good to take your eyes off the stage now and then, to assess the reaction of those sitting nearby. And it was very positive.
The youngsters sat quietly throughout and showed a high degree of appreciation at the end, evidence that they enjoyed not just the intriguing plot, but the performance of the award-winning drama group.
"The stage set is as good as any I've seen at professional productions," said one of my companions, who in addition to being a volunteer at the Tivoli, is an ardent theatregoer. The scenery was so expertly constructed that it made the stage look huge, giving the impression that we were being invited into
a prosperous Edwardian drawing-room.
It is a thought-provoking play that moves quickly to its chilling end and the actors handled their roles expertly. Of the strong cast of Jeremy Austin, Russ Guillaume, Jan Bursby, Boo Dickson, Chris Piper, Tracey Nicholls and Tony Feltham, my three companions and I plumped for Chris Piper and Tony Feltham as the stars.
Martin Matthews is a familiar face to followers of Wimborne Drama, but this time he took the role of director, a debut that will ensure his name will head the production credits for many more years to come.
Marilyn Ayres, Wimborne Magazine

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