Tues-Sat, February 15th –29th 2020 @ 7:30pm
Booking: Online at www.openhousetheatre.at
Sible Birling Anne Weiner
Sheila Birling Lisa Sigismondi
Eric Birling Tom Middler
Gerald Croft Tom Crawley
Edna Nicola Segúr-Chabanac
Director Owen Lindsay
Sound and Lights Jessica Bannister-Pearce
Costume Designer Katharina Kappert
Production Assistant Anne Marie Sheridan
This production is presented due to special arrangement with
United Agents LLP, London, UK.
J.B. Preistley’s most celebrated work, An Inspector Calls, has an interesting history. Written in a single week, and first performed in Moscow in 1945, the play’s heavy, consciously didactic, post-war socialist messaging meant that it received a fairly lukewarm reception upon its debut in London later the same year. Conceived by Preistley as an expressionist piece, that original - mostly conventionally staged - production served for years to color perceptions of the play as a humorless, solemnly sententious political tract, of limited artistic or dramatic merit. Rarely performed professionally over the course of the 20th Century (though it became a mainstay of amateur societies in the English-speaking world), the play was “re-discovered” in the early 1990s, in a famous production at the National Theatre in London, since when opinions of its worth have steadily increased.
My first encounter with the script came when I was cast to portray the role of Inspector Goole, in a modest production in Dublin. As a fan of consciously old-fashioned suspense genre works like The Twilight Zone, I was naturally struck by the ambiguous circular ending, and the unresolved mystery of the Inspector’s true identity. For this production I have deliberately drawn on those influences to enhance the (often ignored, or glossed-over) potential supernatural implications, and striven to guide the play’s - often blunt - rhetorical language into a deliberately hyper-real parable of the circular nature of human history. By seeking, in our own way, to better honor the playwright’s original, non-realistic intentions, it’s our hope that we can clearly convey this play’s timeless message of empathy and collective responsibility, as relevant today as ever.
Special Thanks to all of those who helped us with this year’s production, including:
The team at The Gentlemen Creatives
Anna Laszlo & family