I thought that the use of dramatic irony in the production was extremely well acted and brought with it some humor to the watching audience. A clear example of this was brought when Mr. Birling was quoted as saying, ‘It will be great in a few years for you both. (while he cheerfully and confidently looked at both Gerald and Shelia)’ Which infract ironically it was The Great War some years later. I think that the lighting added mood to the play, as it was bright therefore warm and cozy in the Birling household while outside it was very dark and thus grim and gave a cold feeling.
Also I thought that the lighting had a special effect when the Inspector arrived bringing impending doom and mystery by the way the lighting brought shadows. I thought that the music and the sound effects were shoot effectively and heightened the sense of tension. As well I thought that that it set the scene for 1912 effectively. The noise of the siren brought war and warning to the spectators but we were able to see the further arrogant side of the Briling family. I thought that the costume and the make up were brilliantly used throughout the performance. I thought that the hair falling down and ripped dirty clothes represented the status and unity of the family retreating and losing their respect.
I think that I was most entertained when the telephone call was from the second inspector who wasn’t a bluff because I thought that it was their fault that the police called because Gerald inquired about a death at the Infirmary previously that night. Their attitudes changed dramatically from being relieved and delighted to upsettingly shocked and bewildered. I was also entertained by the attitude from the family as a whole towards Shelia throughout the play.
They constantly told her to ‘be quite’ and thought she didn’t know what she was talking about. However when Mrs. Birling understood this she apologized. But later on again Mrs. Birling turned back to her previous attitude towards Shelia, after the inspector went, which yet again I thought that she was right in what she was tiring to inform her family and seemed the only character with any sense in the Birling family.
When I was told that the character who played Gerald Croft was an understudy, I was extremely shocked and heavily impressed by the way he preformed on the stage. Still, long after the play had finished I continuously asked all of my teachers if this was true and all the replies supported this. I do wish that I had the opportunity to speak to some of the cast members especially the actor who played Gerald. I would have like to ask them some questions about if they enjoyed every production they do, work behind the scenes, the stress of the job, incorrect speech and a few other questions.
The production was clearly very much linked to the book by J.P.P. throughout the play. The theatrical production however used several additional characters. This undoubtedly symbolized the difference in classes and how life was really like outside the Birling household. Obviously the book was not able to bring about lighting and music, which created the mood and tension but instead it was able to describe this clearly. In the play we were able to hear the different tones of voices while in the book it was harder to express the change in manner.
As Arthur Birling was in my mind the leading character, I thought that it was extremely important to successfully portray the original character in the book, which I do believe that he did. His physical character was how I had imagined and his nature in the play was well acted and showed clear facial expressions. Birling’s wife, Sheila, was a strong character and made good uses of pauses. However I thought that it was hard to understand what she was thinking at times, while in other characters I never received such a problem. I believe that this was due to her changing in attitude and pitch to quickly.
This problem could have arisen also because I have seen her in one or two television programs a few years ago thus I would have seen her instantly as a different character. I thought that Sybil preformed her character exceptionally well. I could feel her frustration inside me on several occasions. In one circumstance she was trying to explain to her mother not to reveal anything while Sheila was not even bothering to her what Sybil had to say and told her to ‘shut up!’ which infact she would later dearly regret. I thought that the remaining three characters, Edna, Inspector Goole and Eric, played acceptable roles for their original characters played in the book. They never seemed to inspire me to believe that they were any better than what was required from them, however this could be because of the role that they are playing in the play.
I thought that the performance was brilliant to watch and constantly remained enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the links between the actions onstage and on the audience, which made you closer to understanding their feelings, and made you feel part of the play. One clear example would be when the Inspector is watching on the family and thoughts rush through your mind as to what he is thinking. The play has my full recommendation and for all ages too. I thought that the setting of the house and how it opened was well designed and brought the production closer to the viewing public. I would love to go and see the performance again or even another of Mr. Daldry’s productions.