This is proved when Birling says that there is a
"difference between a lot of stuff like this coming out in private and
a downright public scandal."
Sheila has changed her attitude about how to treat people and is
disgusted that her parents have not done the same: "it's you two who
are being childish - trying not to face the facts." Eric behaves much
the same as Sheila.
The work was premiered in 1945 in two theatres of Moscow. Its first representation in English dates back to 1946 at the New Theatre in London, with Ralph Richardson as Inspector Goole, Julian Mitchell as Marian Spencer, Harry Andrews as Gerald Croft, Arthur Birling as Sybil Birling, Alec Guinness as Eric Birling, and Margaret Leighton as Sheila Birling.
(It is not until the final act that we realise this must be because of his having stolen some money.) There is another awkward moment when Gerald, Birling and Eric are chatting about women's love of clothes before the Inspector arrives.
He tells them forcefully, When Birling tries to threaten him in Act III, Eric is aggressive in return: Do you think Eric has ever stood up to his father in this way before?
Once the inspector leaves after his profound speech, the older Birlings work to convince themselves that nothing happened, and the events surrounding the mysterious Eva Smith are not real and do not concern them. Eric, along with his sister Sheila, is horrified that the household has not absorbed the grim message communicated to them by the mysterious Inspector Goole.
Greg Campbell’s performance as Arthur Birling (seen here with his onstage wife, played by Elana Post) in the gripping mystery thriller An Inspector Calls, now playing at the Classic Theatre Festival until Sept. 11 in Perth, has won praise from some of Canada’s top theatre reviewers. (Photo: Jean-Denis Labelle)
Playing Sybil Birling in An Inspector Calls poses its own unique challenges. “It’s tough to play an unlikable character,” Post says. “I always look for ways of opening a door that allows the audience to relate and empathize with the person I am playing. In a quality play, even the worst villain will be appealing in some way.”
Sean Jacklin plays the troubled Eric Birling (in white), confronting his parents, (played by Elana Post and Greg Campbell), as the Inspector (William Vickers) watches. in the gripping mystery thriller An Inspector Calls. (Photos: Jean-Denis Labelle)
As the final week of the Classic Theatre Festival production of An Inspector Calls comes to a close (the last show is on Sept. 11 at 54 Beckwith Street East in Perth), Elana Post – who shines in the role of the imperious Sybil Birling – has been reflecting on the terrific ensemble with whom she is currently working.
In the Classic Theatre Festival production of J.B. Priestley’s mystery thriller An Inspector Calls, playing until September 11 at 54 Beckwith Street East, Sean Jacklin gives a compelling performance as the troubled young man Eric Birling, who battles demons and drink as he, along with his family, all become suspects in the death of a young woman.
His dad seems to
regret paying for his schooling- particularly when Eric makes comments
that show sympathy for the workers instead of bosses, Mr Birling says
angrily: "It's about time you learnt to face a few responsibilities."
The revelation from the inspector about Eric's real social life and
what he had got up to has made the family aware of the fact that Eric
has been behaving in such an unruly manner.
Local audience members who recognize the man playing Eric Birling are not mistaken, as Jacklin has been a regular fixture on Perth stages for two decades, beginning with a role at the age of 7 as Ricky, the son of the main character in The Seven Year Itch. “I got to run around the stage with one of those horses on a stick things, firing a cap gun and wearing a cowboy hat. I guess that pretty much sold the whole acting thing for me. I’d love to be able to do that on stage again someday, but somehow I don’t think it would be as cute as a 26-year-old.”