Classic drawing room drama for Athlone Little Theatre

J.B.Priestly's classic drama An Inspector Calls is set for an eight-night run at Athlone's Little Theatre at the end of the month.

Opening on Friday, April 21, this absolute classic of a play was penned by English dramatist J.B. Priestly, and has most recently been revived to massive critical acclaim in both the UK and Ireland under director Stephen Daldry.

Set in 1912, and first performed in 1945, it has stood the test of time, thanks to Priestly's skilful psychological treatment of family and social dynamics, against the impending worldwide impact of the First World War.

Tackling themes such as class, social responsibility and cause and effect, it tells the story of how a prosperous upper middle-class family, the Birlings, are rocked by the revelation that a young girl has died by her own hand.

One by one, the family's motives and prejudices are exposed, leaving them open to the judgement of their fellow family members, as the disquieting Inspector Goole goes about the business of unpicking their lives.

Director Harry Smith has brought together a cast of high quality to do justice to this mesmerising psychological drama. Anyone who has seen the excellent Martin Kelleher perform will know that he is a perfect choice as the inspector; Billy Nott is a most credible Arthur Birling - tough businessman and family figurehead - with Sally Knight playing his steely-hearted wife Sybil.

Their daughter, the rather self-centred Sheila (Laura Geraghty ) and their somewhat naive son Eric (Joe Steiner ) gain maturity through the engaging energy of these two experienced actors.

John Quinlan gives a solid grounding to proceedings as Sheila's fiance Gerald Croft, and Deirdre Verney plays the role of Edna the maid.

Set design and construction is also in the hands of director Harry Smith with stage management by Deirdre Verney.

An Inspector Calls will run nightly at 8pm from Friday, April 21 to Friday, April 28 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary's Place, Athlone. For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.

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