The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
September 26, 27, 28 & 29, 1990.
An Inspector Calls
by J. B. Priestley
Ron Cheesman – Arthur Birling
Bob Ryder – Gerald Croft
Judith Berrill – Sheila Birling
Jean Porter – Sybil Birling
Dorothy Edney – Edna
Bob Cree – Eric Birling
Vic Gough – Inspector Goole
Technical Director – George Laye
Stage Manager – Dave Collis
Continuity – Daphne Thornton
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Lighting – Frances Thorne
Lighting – James Boath
Set Design – George Laye
Wardrobe Mistress – Claire Wiggins
Portrait Painter – Judith Berrill
Front of House Manager – Margaret Murrell
Box Office – Jill Redman
Publicity – Andrew Cregeen
Publicity – Ann Donkin
Publicity – Jean Porter
Photography – George Laye
Programme Note #1: An Inspector Calls
AL wrote: “I am once again privileged to direct a Priestley play for WICK . An Inspector Calls is very different from When We Are Married, my last Priestley play, but I consider it another masterpiece.
The importance of community, common interests and common responsibility has been the theme of much of Priestley’s work. The Birling family is typical of its time and environment, but what of the Inspector? Is he really a Police Inspector? Is he a practical joker or is he a being from a mysterious source, possibly the voice of conscience in us all? We leave you to decide as the play unfolds.
Whatever your conclusion we hope you will have an entertaining and thought provoking evening.”
Publicity #1: An Inspector Calls
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: September 14 issue – page 11
Text Header: “Death called in on them”
A FEW proverbial skeletons will be lurking in the cupboard for the Wick Theatre Company’ production of An Inspector Calls from September 26-29.
Vic Gough takes the rôle of the mysterious police officer in J. B. Priestley’s play. Southwick Community Centre’s Barn Theatre is the venue for the story, set in the North Midlands in 1912. The Inspector walks into the life of a respectable family, including newly-engaged pair Sheila Birling, played by Judith Berrill and Gerald Croft [Bob Ryder].
Things get uneasy when the officer announces the death of a girl. Director Audrey Laye said, ‘ He begins to question them all, because each one of then had something to do with this girl.‘ The play should prove to be a thought-provoking study of human conscious.
Ron Cheesman takes the rôle of the manufacturer Mr Birling, a self-made man and former lord mayor of the town. His wife is played by Jean Porter. Bob Cree plays his son, Eric, and Dorothy Edney has been cast as the maid Edna.
Audrey’s husband, George Laye, is the show’s technical director and set designer.
Wick Theatre Company hopes to repeat the success of its previous performance of a Priestley play When We Are Married.
Performances at Southwick Community Centre’s Barn Theatre start at 7.45 pm from September 26 – 29. Tickets cost £3each, with the added bonus of newly-improved seating.
Review #1: An Inspector Calls
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: October 5 issue – page 27
Reviewer: Alan Olieff
Text Header: “Wick entertains with ‘Inspector'”
A MYSTERIOUS officer of morality was on the case at Southwick Community Centre’s Barn Theatre last week. Skeletons were dragged rattling from the closet in Wick Theatre Company’s performance of J B Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls. Vic Gough acted with conviction in the leading rôle of Inspector Goole. The stern figure threw a spanner in the works of the well-off Birling family’s ‘respectable’ party to celebrate an engagement.
Nerves began to show as the inspector unearthed each person’s link to a young woman who killed herself. Priestley cleverly used the reaction of the characters to show their true colours. Ron Cheesman was suitably pompous as factory owner Arthur Birling, who had sacked the desperate woman. He could have added a touch more boost to his blustering on the opening night. Jean Porter was unnervingly convincing as Birling’s wife, Sybil, blind to her own lack of charity. Mrs Birling’s daughter Sheila [Judith Berrill] proved alert as the only person willing to shoulder some blame for the woman’s death.
Another good performance came from Bob Ryder as Sheila’s fiancé, Gerald Croft. His complex character shifter from compassionate to complacent when news of his former mistress’s suicide briefly appeared a hoax. There was little to endear anyone to heavy-drinking Eric Birling, father of the dead woman’s unborn child. Bob Cree handled the rôle fairly well but gabbled a few of his words on the play’ first night.
New tiered seating at the theatre made it much easier for people at the back to see the stage. One teething problem arose – the height of the first step sent at least one latecomer into a sudden and noisy stumble.