The play is part morality play because it has a morale and a meaning to be learnt form the story, for example the message in this play is taking responsibility for your actions, and the example in the play is set By Shelia and Eric, who realise their mistakes and try to change. The detective story is where a crime is committed by one or a group of people, in this case it being The Birling’s and Gerald and all of the secrets that are uncovered and revealed by the Inspector.
The Naturalistic drama is where playwright attempts to give a detailed impression of real life and this play does try to do this which means that it is party a naturalistic drama. J. B. Preistly also chose to have three acts in this production which would all end on cliff-hangers. The first act being that they had just found out that Gerald had had some involvement with the girl and the second where they had just discovered about Eric’s involvement with the girl and the third where the phone-call has just happened.
Priestly may have wanted this to happen as he wanted people to be gripped by the story at the end of each act. This also could have had something to do with it being a detective story and a major part of the mystery is revealed at the end of each act and then solved or discussed in the following act.
At the beginning and end of the production there will be screens with a slideshow of pictures presenting poverty and other things that are relevant to the play such as how people all over the world are desperate for people to help them and to start realising that we do have responsibility for other people and not just ourselves, and then just before the play begins there will be a clip of Eva Smith drinking the disinfectant, this is to show the audience that something has happened.
The play is relevant to modern day because it has a certain morale to teach the audience about the responsibility that we have towards other people who are in out society and those living amongst us that are less fortunate than ourselves The house will open like a dolls’ house, but will remain closed before the inspector arrival, this is to show that he is making them open up and reveal all of their secrets that they have kept hidden away.
When the inspector leaves, Mr and Mrs Birling and Gerald will go back into the main part of the house where the room is darker and full of shadows that represent sin and secrets, however, Sheila and Eric will remain at the open part of the house where the light is brighter, this is to show that they are not trying to hide away anymore and that they have changed. There will also be a mirror in the part of the room with Sheila and Eric and in the part of the house with the others there will be the fire that is not lit, to show that there is not warmth and soul there.
The lighting will be a light pink glow before the inspector arrives, however after his arrival the light will become brighter and stronger so people (the audience) can feel that they are opening up and revealing secrets. When the inspector confronts each person in turn, the light will change colour/ shade depending on the character and revelation. For example Eric could have quite a heavy colour as he is carrying a huge load of guilt, but this could change and become lighter and softer as he changes. Whereas Mr and Mrs Birling will start with a fairly heavy colour and continue like that throughout the production.
In the scene where the inspector arrives, he introduces himself as inspector Goole and then he cuts straight to the point by telling them that Eva Smith has died after committing suicide and then he askd Mr Birling whether or not he knew the girl. However he is very demanding in the way he says this. ‘I’d like some information if you don’t mind Mr Birling. Two hours ago a young woman died in the Infirmary. She’d been taken there this afternoon because she’d swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her insides out of course.
‘ He says this as thought Mr Birling should also know about it, and I think he makes it clear from the start that he is accusing Mr Birling of having some responsibility for her death. The Inspector could show this perhaps by continuously glancing at the Inspector throughout the time that he is telling Mr Birling about her death, indicating responsibility. Rehearsals start in one weeks time and I advise you to read the play carefully, particularly taking notice of the Inspectors lines and the scenes and lines of speech which I have identified.
You should also try to develop your version of the character of the Inspector by continuously reading the Inspector’s lines and looking deeper into his character and thinking about how he is demanding and perhaps forceful in his approach towards the Birling family and try to make sure that you fully understand the reasons for the Inspectors appearance and the fact that he arrived at the moment when Mr Birling had just finished his speech, and you also need to make sure that your character does create some confusion on his arrival and throughout the play until the end of the play when his true identity and purpose is left for the audience to decide on fully.