Review: An Inspector Calls at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

As the curtain rose up to reveal a visually stunning set, an eerie atmosphere instantly descended on the Mayflower Theatre.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 10:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 10:51 am

Rain lashed down on the house centre stage, with disconcerting music and mood lighting really setting the scene.

The house belonged to the Birling family, central to the plot of An Inspector Calls.

This National Theatre touring production of J.B Priestley’s classic thriller is directed by Oscar-nominated film-maker, Stephen Daldry.

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The stand-out performance came from Caroline Wildi as the formidable Sybil Birling.

Geoff Leesley was equally impressive as her pompous husband Arthur.

However, for a show of such prestige and as a fan of the original play, I can’t help but feel disappointed.

Liam Brennan handled the portrayal of Inspector Goole reasonably well.

However, for me, he didn’t quite capture the mysterious side of the character and occasionally lost me with his Scottish accent.

Katherine Jack depicted daughter Sheila Birling effectively, but I was continually distracted by watching her wrestling with her dress – the long flowing gown got stuck on scenery and underneath various feet many times.

The very same set, that impressed me so much initially, later became irritating. It was entertaining enough but didn’t quite live up to my expectations.