An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls

Postby Barry » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:23 pm

The Garrick Playhouse, Altrincham, January 19th 2011

When the Garrick are good they are very good, and tonight they were exceptional. A great play, given an imaginative (and as they director will admit, with a few nods to Stephen Daldry) production, great performances, and a very intersesting set and lighting. An audience of school kids filled me with dread but they were right in the play, gasping at every peripatetic moment. Actually the noisiest on of them was their teacher rather loudly telling them to turn their phones off after the play had started. It is simply a great play (my father's favourite) with no fat, and even though you know where it is going, it still grips you, like Hamlet and Oedipus, waiting for the inevitable to come. And come it does. But I would hold this up as an example of taking a play that has been done to death in the same safe fashion, but can easily, with some imagination that costs nothing, be turned into a thrilling and visual piece of drama. Though, and here I am going to get on my very high horse, the terrible reviewer from the Manchester Evening News could come up with nothing interesting to say other than she thought the table needed a cloth, and that the play was about not getting caught. What the hell was she watching! Of all the stupid banal things to say, when there is a play about such huge issues, and presented with interesting dramatic elements. And she gets paid for coming out with such tripe. But well done to the Garrick, and may this be the final death of the dreaded literal box set and literal production.
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