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Stella A Griffin

 Theater Educator/ Director

 

 

 

 Brethren Christian

Junior & Senior High School, located in southeast Huntington Beach, CA.,

has provided academically

excellent, Christ-centered

education for 60 years.

Visit us at www.bchs.net

An Inspector Calls

Performed February 2008

Cast and Play Info

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Review: An Inspector Calls

Dana Hills student reviews Brethren Christian production.

By GRACE MARTIN

For the Orange County Register

Secrecy, deception, thievery and infidelity Ė such are the intertwined transgressions of one upper-class family, which leads to the enigmatic death of a destroyed woman in Brethren Christian High School's production of "An Inspector Calls."

The dramatic thriller was written by J. B. Priestly and originally took place in England during World War I. However, it is reconfigured to take place in a wealthy, New England home during the 1940s. The play is continuous within three acts, and follows the progression of the Birling family as they are questioned by a dubious inspector and discover the part they may all have played leading to the demise of seemingly unconnected woman. The plot twists and turns until the guilt of every family member is revealed and the true identity of the inspector is brought into question, ultimately leaving the story on a cliffhanger.

The seven-member cast of the play demonstrates a gamut of emotions as the play unfolds, ranging from impassioned rage to utter stoicism. As a whole, the group contrasts poignantly with their varying responses to accusation, though at some points it falters due to disjointed speech and faulty memorization.

The role of Sheila Birling, as played by Megan Barrett, garners sympathy as she becomes deeply devoted to discovering the truth and learning from her mistakes. Chris Chan as Gerald Croft is also notable for his climatic monologue in which he incriminates the inspector to great dramatic effect. However, it is the role of Inspector Goole, played by Kyle Gullett, which draws the most intrigue. His detached demeanor, limited vocal variation and slow pacing, leads to the development of ambiguity around the character.

The technical aspects of the play are simple yet consistent. Shawn Southard's yellow washed lighting design is balanced and well placed, creating the old-fashioned ambiance of the setting. Also, Patrick Quinn's sound design is unassuming and fluid with the play.

Brethren Christian's performance of "An Inspector Calls" is mind boggling and thrilling.

Grace Martin attends the South Orange County School of the Arts at Dana Hills High School.

 

Directorís Note:

I am drawn to this older, though enduringly popular play, because An Inspector Calls is, essentially, a timeless morality play within a police thriller. Police Inspector Goole, who inspects the complacent Birling family, also inspects us, the audience. He makes a strong case for our responsibility to care for one another. He claims that one personís single action towards another human being nearby can affect the entire fabric of a community for good or for ill. The characters in this play are linked by random acts of unkindness and, even evil.

As one character says, "thatís the hellish part."