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As the curtains rise the light (dim) focuses on Mr Birling’s factory. Outside, protesters are trying to convince Mr Birling to increase their wages. Lightning strikes a tree near the protesters and everything goes dark. The light brightens a little and focuses back on the factory where all the protesters are gone. As the light brightens more, Mr Birling walks out of the factory and locks the main doors. The night is dark and eerie; the deep mist envelops his feet as he moves. He walks along a path past Milwards, the palace variety theatre and up to the house. Set up of the stage
Top view After Mr Birling enters the house the rest of the stage goes dark and is cleared apart from the house. The front of the house lifts up to show the dining room. The lights dim and focus on the dining room where the four Birlings and Gerald are sitting. Mr Birling pushes the port towards Eric. They talk about port for a while until Edna leaves. When Mr Birling starts his first speech about the miners strike being almost over, “Last month, just because the miners came out on strike, there’s a lot of wild talk about possible labour trouble in the near future.
Don’t worry we’ve past the worst of It. ” The lights focus on the screen just next to the house as well, where miners are going on strike again. After he has finished the focus goes completely on the dining room again. Mr Birling starts his second speech, saying that there’s not going to be a war. ” Just because the Kaiser makes a speech or two, or a few German officers have too much too drink and begin talking nonsense, you’ll hear that war is inevitable. ” The screen shows pictures of World War 1.
Mr Birling starts his third speech, when he says about the titanic being unsinkable, “The Titanic… forty six thousand eight hundred tons… and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable. ” There’s a slight pause and the light focuses on the screen in the background, it shows the titanic sinking. The inspector comes on the stage and walks up to the house, he stops and looks for a while and then goes up to the house. Edna opens the door and lets the inspector in, she shows him into the dining room.
I went to the Milton Keynes theatre on Wednesday 8th November to see ‘An Inspector Calls’. The play had some symbolism in: the house represented the family’s security, the house was on stilts it was like each member of the family was a stilt and when one of them were damaged the whole house falls apart; the inspector is a representative of the audience, he asks the family questions that you want to know. The play was set in the Second World War, I think that it should have been set before the First World War as it was in the original play because the play has references to class difference and that was more pronounced at that time.
The director didn’t change important things in the script that told you it was before World War 1, “This girl left us nearly two years ago. Let me see – it must have been in the early autumn of nineteen-ten. ” They are only small parts of the play but make a big difference to the set out of the play. However it was good to have it set in the World War 2 because Mr Birling talks about the mining strikes in one of his speeches and there was a lot more of them before World War 2 than World War 1.