An Inspector Calls Essay

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2 A RESOURCE PACK FOR TEACHERS CONTENTS A USER’S GUIDE 1. PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE i. ii. iii. iv. Time and the Birlings The Social Context: 1912 and 1945 The Social Context: The Play Today Political Play or Propaganda? 5 9 11 13 4 2. PRODUCING PRIESTLEY’S PLAY i. ii. iii. iv. Frequently Asked Questions Who is the Inspector? Exploring Theatricality Film Facts 15 19 21 24 3. BEHIND THE SCENES i. ii. iii. iv. In Rehearsal Collaborative Theatre Tricks of the Trade The Secret of Success 25 26 28 30 31 39 4. 5. PRACTICAL APPROACHES SELECTED FURTHER READING Written for The Magenta Partnership by Kim Greengrass ©1999 3 TEACHER’S RESOURCE PACK AN INSPECTOR CALLS WRITTEN FOR THE MAGENTA PARTNERSHIP BY KIM GREENGRASS SECTION ONE ~ PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Read the outlines of three of J.B.Priestley’s other dramatic works before considering the following questions. ? o Can you find any important similarities between the summaries of Priestley’s other plays and An Inspector Calls? ? o How do the theories of time presented in these plays influence your understanding of An Inspector Calls? ? o Use Sheila’s remark that “If it didn’t end tragically, then that’s lucky for us. But it might have done.” (An Inspector Calls p. 70) as the starting point for a collection of quotations from the play about alternative realities or what might have been. ? o Can you think of other stage plays, films or books which explore concepts of time? (eg. the films Sliding Doors, Back to the Future etc) Do these present a similar view of time to that in Priestley’s work? 1. Dangerous Corner (1932) STANTON: FREDA: STANTON: I think telling the truth is about as healthy as skidding at sixty round a corner. And life’s got a lot of dangerous corners, hasn’t it Charles? It can have if you don’t choose your route well. Dangerous Corner, Act III In his

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