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‘An Inspector Calls’

LCT cast will keep audience guessing when it debuts newest mystery play

The game is afoot at Lawton Community Theatre, where the cast is set to begin production of J. B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls."

Over the course of a single night in April 1912, the lives of a prosperous English family are upended by the arrival of a mysterious inspector.

As the night wears on, each member of the Birling family is interrogated by the inspector as he slowly unravels the mystery behind the death of a young, working class girl.

Set two years before the start of World War I, the struggle between the Birling family and the mysterious inspector Goole has been thrilling audiences for years.

"An Inspector Calls" has received much critical praise since its first performance, which was held in the Soviet Union in 1945. Some critics have compared the battle of wits between the family's patriarch, Arthur Birling, and the inspector as a metaphor for the tensions between capitalism and socialism.

One of the most famous adaptations of the play is the 1954 version starring Alastair Sim.

The play was most recently adapted to the small screen in a made-for-TV movie starring Harry Potter actor David Thewlis.

Some modern critics have compared the play to the hugely popular Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" for its depiction of a chain of events that results in the death of a young girl and how those events are revealed to the responsible parties. 

"An Inspector Calls" is considered by many to be Priestly's greatest work, and the cast is eager to bring the show to Lawton. 

For Adam Randell, the show's director, the script has a lot to say about our current political climate. He calls it a conversation starter.

"There doesn't seem to be enough focus on helping one another out; it (the script) highlights the importance of the value of our connection to one another  those things are what pulled me in," Randell said.

Another thing that caught Randell's eye was the ambiguity of the play.

"For example, the nature of the inspector, there are some questions as to his motives," Randell said.

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