The Effect of Different Staging of An Inspector Calls on the Reaction of the Audience

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The Effect of Different Staging of An Inspector Calls on the Reaction of the Audience

The way a play is staged is very important to how the audience views

the story and the characters.

We have studied 3 versions of 'An Inspector calls'. The original 1946

production, 1954 film version and the 1992 Royal National Theatre

production.

I will take each of these in turn and see how they are staged

differently and how this affects the audience's perception of the

characters.

The first production I will look at is the original 1946 production.

When the curtain rises it is performed as written in the book, this

means that we are immediately in the Birlings' dining room. There is

an engagement party in progress, we are let in on their conversation,

this makes us feel like part of the family - but we are still on the

outside to a certain extent. When the Inspector arrives, he interrupts

the family's party and we feel as if our evening has been disturbed as

well.

We only hear about Eva Smith/Daisy Renton in this version when the

Inspector questions each character. This interrogation causes a whole

story to unfold about her character but we never actually meet her in

person. In spite of not meeting her, we still feel quite sorry for her

as we hear what happened.

In the 1954 film version, once again we are in the dining room. I

think that we as the audience feel more a part of the family than we

do in the original version as the camera shot is at eye-level with the

other characters. This makes us, the audience, feel like we are

sitting at the table and are part of the party. Again we develop an

emotional attachment to the characters at first so it comes as even

more of a shock when the Inspector arrives and ruins the evening.

A major difference between this version and the original is that we

actually meet Eva/Daisy. When the Inspector is questioning the family,

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