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An Inspector Calls: SET

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by

Katherine Rickson

on 7 November 2017

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Transcript of An Inspector Calls: SET

It's important to remember that An Inspector Calls is a play and was written to be performed.
What are some of things a set designer has consider when creating a set for a play?
We learn a lot about each of the main characters before they have even spoken a word!
Create a table in your books to record your findings.
set designing
Make a list in your books.
Bear this in mind as we read the opening stage directions.
TASK:
Using the stage directions, design your own set for a production of the play.
One of the most famous productions of the play was directed by Stephen Daldry. Read the extract from a review of the play, which describes the stage set.
TASK:
Using what you learned about the context of the play last lesson, answer the question below:
Why do you think Daldry chose to design his set in this way?
TASK:
Important questions:
1. What type of furniture adorns the room and what kind of mood does it help to create?

2. Priestley specifies instructions with regard to lighting. How is it meant to be before the arrival of the Inspector?

3. How is it meant to change after the arrival of the Inspector? What does this type of lighting remind you of?

4. Make a list of props that hint at the upper middle class status of the Birlings.

5. Which phrase in these opening stage directions creates a sense of foreboding?
Stage directions take the form of information (which is not part of the dialogue) given to an actor, director or designer.

Some may be basic instructions such as: ‘Exit stage right’.

Others may provide detailed information on things such as setting, action or a character’s personality.

✏ Which does Priestley tend to use?
Can you think of one word to sum up the Birlings' home?
What do we learn about the Birlings from the description of the setting?
Write a SWEATY paragraph to answer this question.

The Birling’s home is described as… (choose a positive/ luxurious description and quote it)

This suggests that… (explain the impression that this gives the audience about the Birlings)

However, it is also described as ‘substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy and homelike.’

From this quote, the audience may infer that, although the Birlings live a life of luxury,…

Priestley liked to begin his plays by convincing his audience that they were safely within the boundaries of what was real and normal. He would then find a way to destroy that feeling of reality by moving them in to an unreal or mysterious situation. By using the ‘solid,’ ‘substantial’ and naturalistic setting at the start, Priestley gives his audience a sense of reality and normality.

What are some of the unreal elements that force the audience to question the normality proposed at the start?

Priestly's Opening Message
Full transcript