An Inspector Calls

Critics

LemonMeter

79 %

Reviews: 17

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

Stephen Daldry ("The Crown," Billy Elliot, The Inheritance) directs his National Theatre of Great Britain's landmark production of J.B. Priestley's classic thriller An Inspector Calls, hailed as the theatrical event of its generation and winner of an unprecedented number of awards, including three Olivier's, four Tony's and seven Drama Desk Awards, with an exclusive West Coast engagement at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, January 22 to Sunday, February 10, 2019. Featuring an iconic grand-scale set, Daldry's masterpiece was first staged in London in 1992, went on to award-winning runs in the West End, Broadway and elsewhere, including Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre in 1996, and has been seen by over 4 million theatergoers worldwide. Currently touring Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, An Inspector Calls has been described as, "an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone' wrapped in an Agatha Christie mystery," and "a Broadway Phenomenon!" (The Washington Post). In London, critics called it "superbly tense…breathtaking, daring and faultless execution" (Daily Telegraph), "visually astonishing" (Daily Express) and "a riveting examination of conscience and class." (Sunday Express).

Reviews

Avatar
"What intensifies the suspense of each act is the music by Stephen Warbeck. The eerie violin and piano pieces send a cautionary chill up one's spine. Smoke and low lighting also add an air of mystery."

sweet - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"As an inspection of conscience and morals, the play's surface message, ‘We are all intertwined' is voiced right from the mouth of Inspector Goole (Liam Brennan) himself. But it's so much bigger than that. - Very Highly Recommended"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"AN INSPECTOR CALLS has been described in the Washington Post as "an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' wrapped in an Agatha Christie mystery," and after seeing the show at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, I must say that about sums up the play for me too. Running at almost two hours without an intermission, at first it seemed to be just a bunch of talking heads yelling loudly with strong British accents - that is until the end when a Rod Serling-like phone call delivers a twist that sets the whole thing into the realm of "what just really happened?""

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"AN INSPECTOR CALLS is a classic thriller and is guaranteed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The plot will keep you guessing while raising unbidden goosebumps."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"The superb cast, under Daldry's crack direction, keeps you on the edge of your seat as the truth is slowly unraveled."

sweet - Beverly Cohn - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"When BAFTA, Tony, and Golden Globe winner Daldry (who's also nabbed three Oscar nominations) revived the show in the early '90s, it won the Olivier, the Drama Desk, and the Tony for Best Revival of a play, and he hasn't lost his touch with this relaunch. He has a deft hand with his actors, leading them to flawless performances. Christine Kavanagh as matriarch Sybil and Harvey as frivolous, spoiled Sheila own the stage whenever they are present."

sweet - Harker Jones - Arts in LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"An Inspector Calls has important things to say about predatory capitalism, but unfortunately Daldry's direction ruined the play's message. A charter member of the Louder School of Acting, he has instructed his key characters to keep shouting their lines at each other. Their strident, unmodulated voices began to grate on my nerves and made me want to flee the theater long before the play ended."

sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"If nothing else, however, we might perceive that Inspector Goole in this play, a “ghoul” or a “ghost”—who also keeps disappearing off stage at moments in the production of the play—is a figure who is both reminding the family of their sins and warning them of their fates as in a Greek drama."

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"RECOMMENDED - In today's era of open corruption at the highest levels of government and business, the themes of An Inspector Calls are distressingly relevant. That's one good reason to see the show, but the main one is that this production is a stunner on every level, and a welcome revival indeed."

sweet - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"In his sometimes astonishing, sometimes mesmerizing, sometimes a touch too tricky for its own good, production, Daldry elevates the play to an importance it deserves. In this case, actors play a secondary role to the special effects, so, while the cast is pretty much good enough, it is a far cry from being sensational or memorable."

sweet-sour - Harvey Perr - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"There is a message in Priestley's play, that is, to show the way the wealthy treat those less fortunate than they, without compassion or a conscience."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar
"Nevertheless, I relished this excursion into socialism via a supernatural pathway and highly recommend that theatergoers pay a call on and inspect this play. And hopefully soon our very own Inspector Goole will likewise call on Trump, Stone and company and their house of cards will end up like the home in this highly inventive play about class, consciousness and conscience."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Written in 1946, this play couldn't be more relevant. And with the expert performances by every member of the cast and stunning set design by Ian MacNeil, it couldn't be more lovely to witness."

sweet - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar
"The actors are skilled and seasoned, even if they're sometimes hard to hear, especially the women. ... That's important to correct, because everything in this play depends on our ability to follow the conversations."

sweet-sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar
"Notwithstanding the enigmatic plot and conclusion, the stage setting is superb; the dialogue crisp and fast paced; the cast/ensemble stellar and captivating. Jeff Harmer and Christine Kavanagh are standouts as Mr. and Mrs. Birling, respectively."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up


Avatar
"“An Inspector Calls” is not subtle. The sensibility is more Edwardian than modernist, but Daldry serves it up with expressionistic élan. Rather than shy away from the moralizing, the production embraces a critique of inequality that never seems to lose any of its pertinence. Priestley's point, while as timely today as it was when he wrote the play, is heavy-handed. But Daldry's spry production makes the lesson sting with liveliness."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"In 1992, Stephen Daldry took J.B. Priestley's mission one step further, innovatively blasting apart and reassembling his old melodramatic warhorse into his multiple award-winning revival, a kind of nonrealistic, expressionistic theatrical mindfuck. Now returned here to the Wallis, this is still a magical effort even better today when the absurdity of real life is more than enough to contemplate on a daily basis."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"The play is “An Inspector Calls”. Unfortunately, he was calling from another country. And another century. With accents so “teddily British” that the play could have really used subtitles. An Inspector Calls", in my view, does not warrant being hailed as "the theatrical event of its generation," as it has been, in spite of Director Stephen Daldry's version having won three Oliviers, four Tonys, and seven Drama Desk Awards. It starts out on a virtually empty stage, much too spacious for the oddly designed house plunked in the middle of it. The Inspector arrives to question the principals about a young woman who has committed suicide. The two young men, Gerald and Eric, recognize her as a woman they had each slept with (gasp!). Eric, in fact, had impregnated her, and Gerald had stolen money to help her out (gasp! gasp!). If there are any thrills or chills to be had, as advertised, they turn up at the end of the play, but I wasn't particularly thrilled or chilled."

sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"What intensifies the suspense of each act is the music by Stephen Warbeck. The eerie violin and piano pieces send a cautionary chill up one's spine. Smoke and low lighting also add an air of mystery."

sweet - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"As an inspection of conscience and morals, the play's surface message, ‘We are all intertwined' is voiced right from the mouth of Inspector Goole (Liam Brennan) himself. But it's so much bigger than that. - Very Highly Recommended"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"AN INSPECTOR CALLS has been described in the Washington Post as "an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' wrapped in an Agatha Christie mystery," and after seeing the show at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, I must say that about sums up the play for me too. Running at almost two hours without an intermission, at first it seemed to be just a bunch of talking heads yelling loudly with strong British accents - that is until the end when a Rod Serling-like phone call delivers a twist that sets the whole thing into the realm of "what just really happened?""

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"AN INSPECTOR CALLS is a classic thriller and is guaranteed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The plot will keep you guessing while raising unbidden goosebumps."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"The superb cast, under Daldry's crack direction, keeps you on the edge of your seat as the truth is slowly unraveled."

sweet - Beverly Cohn - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"When BAFTA, Tony, and Golden Globe winner Daldry (who's also nabbed three Oscar nominations) revived the show in the early '90s, it won the Olivier, the Drama Desk, and the Tony for Best Revival of a play, and he hasn't lost his touch with this relaunch. He has a deft hand with his actors, leading them to flawless performances. Christine Kavanagh as matriarch Sybil and Harvey as frivolous, spoiled Sheila own the stage whenever they are present."

sweet - Harker Jones - Arts in LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"An Inspector Calls has important things to say about predatory capitalism, but unfortunately Daldry's direction ruined the play's message. A charter member of the Louder School of Acting, he has instructed his key characters to keep shouting their lines at each other. Their strident, unmodulated voices began to grate on my nerves and made me want to flee the theater long before the play ended."

sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"If nothing else, however, we might perceive that Inspector Goole in this play, a “ghoul” or a “ghost”—who also keeps disappearing off stage at moments in the production of the play—is a figure who is both reminding the family of their sins and warning them of their fates as in a Greek drama."

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"RECOMMENDED - In today's era of open corruption at the highest levels of government and business, the themes of An Inspector Calls are distressingly relevant. That's one good reason to see the show, but the main one is that this production is a stunner on every level, and a welcome revival indeed."

sweet - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"In his sometimes astonishing, sometimes mesmerizing, sometimes a touch too tricky for its own good, production, Daldry elevates the play to an importance it deserves. In this case, actors play a secondary role to the special effects, so, while the cast is pretty much good enough, it is a far cry from being sensational or memorable."

sweet-sour - Harvey Perr - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"There is a message in Priestley's play, that is, to show the way the wealthy treat those less fortunate than they, without compassion or a conscience."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar
"Nevertheless, I relished this excursion into socialism via a supernatural pathway and highly recommend that theatergoers pay a call on and inspect this play. And hopefully soon our very own Inspector Goole will likewise call on Trump, Stone and company and their house of cards will end up like the home in this highly inventive play about class, consciousness and conscience."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Written in 1946, this play couldn't be more relevant. And with the expert performances by every member of the cast and stunning set design by Ian MacNeil, it couldn't be more lovely to witness."

sweet - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar
"The actors are skilled and seasoned, even if they're sometimes hard to hear, especially the women. ... That's important to correct, because everything in this play depends on our ability to follow the conversations."

sweet-sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar
"“An Inspector Calls” is not subtle. The sensibility is more Edwardian than modernist, but Daldry serves it up with expressionistic élan. Rather than shy away from the moralizing, the production embraces a critique of inequality that never seems to lose any of its pertinence. Priestley's point, while as timely today as it was when he wrote the play, is heavy-handed. But Daldry's spry production makes the lesson sting with liveliness."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"In 1992, Stephen Daldry took J.B. Priestley's mission one step further, innovatively blasting apart and reassembling his old melodramatic warhorse into his multiple award-winning revival, a kind of nonrealistic, expressionistic theatrical mindfuck. Now returned here to the Wallis, this is still a magical effort even better today when the absurdity of real life is more than enough to contemplate on a daily basis."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"The play is “An Inspector Calls”. Unfortunately, he was calling from another country. And another century. With accents so “teddily British” that the play could have really used subtitles. An Inspector Calls", in my view, does not warrant being hailed as "the theatrical event of its generation," as it has been, in spite of Director Stephen Daldry's version having won three Oliviers, four Tonys, and seven Drama Desk Awards. It starts out on a virtually empty stage, much too spacious for the oddly designed house plunked in the middle of it. The Inspector arrives to question the principals about a young woman who has committed suicide. The two young men, Gerald and Eric, recognize her as a woman they had each slept with (gasp!). Eric, in fact, had impregnated her, and Gerald had stolen money to help her out (gasp! gasp!). If there are any thrills or chills to be had, as advertised, they turn up at the end of the play, but I wasn't particularly thrilled or chilled."

sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Notwithstanding the enigmatic plot and conclusion, the stage setting is superb; the dialogue crisp and fast paced; the cast/ensemble stellar and captivating. Jeff Harmer and Christine Kavanagh are standouts as Mr. and Mrs. Birling, respectively."

sweet - Bonnie Priever - Curtain Up