An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls is a play written by English dramatist J. B. Priestley, first performed in 1945 (in the Soviet Union) and 1946 (in the UK). It is considered to be one of Priestley's best known works for the stage and one of the classics of mid-20th century English theatre. The play's success and reputation has been boosted in recent years by a successful revival by English director Stephen Daldry for the National Theatre in 1992.[2]

The play is a three-act drama, which takes place on a single night in 1912,[3] and focuses on the prosperous middle-class Birling family,[4] who live in a comfortable home in Brumley, "an industrial city in the north Midlands".[3] The family is visited by a man calling himself Inspector Goole, who questions the family about the suicide of a young working-class woman, Eva Smith (also known as Daisy Renton). Over the course of the evening, the entire family, under interrogation by Goole, are revealed to have been responsible for the young woman's exploitation, abandonment and social ruin, effectively leading to her death. Long considered part of the repertory of classic “drawing room” theatre, the play has also been hailed as a scathing critique of the hypocrisies of Victorian/Edwardian English society and as an expression of Priestley’s Socialist political principles. The play is studied in English secondary schools as one of the prescribed texts for the English Literature GCSE examination.

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