3-7 May 2016
Reviewed by Emma Stubbs
Coming from Bradford, JB Priestley is something of an icon. There’s a larger than life statue of the man just over the road from the Alhambra Theatre, and a smaller theatre in the city bears his name, and yet I’d never managed to get around to reading An Inspector Calls, somehow managing to pass it during GCSE, which meant I went into the show with a fresh pair of eyes. The production at the Alhambra was mesmerising from start to finish, captivatingly performed, and excellently staged. It’s hard to say too much without spoiling anything for future viewers, but the timing and suspense were perfectly pitched. The lack of an interval meant the story could be told unimpeded, and its testament to its success could be seen by the lack of restlessness in the school children who surrounded us during the 1 hour 45 minute performance.
The set was simple in terms of its elements, but the house, the main centrepiece of the staging, was exquisitely detailed, although it must be said that to my untrained eye, some of the costumes seemed somewhat anachronistic, appearing to fit more to a mid-1940s timeframe than the 1912 of the story.
There were some pyrotechnics towards the end of the performance, which did feel slightly out of place and cheapened an otherwise highly professional dramatisation. However, each member of the ensemble played their part extremely well, and special mention should go to Liam Brennan who performed the main role of the Inspector in a thoroughly captivating manner.
The Alhambra, as always, is a pleasure to visit as well. The surroundings always seem to accentuate any performance, and the staff are always warm and welcoming. There’s ample parking in the vicinity, with two multi story car parks within walking distance, and in the evenings the Jacob’s Well car park offers an excellent cheaper alternative.
From beginning to end, the show makes for a fantastic night out, which I’m sure will be enjoyed by all, whether you’re studying GCSE English or not!
Tickets cost from £15.50 to £28.50 (booking fees may apply).
An Inspector Calls is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford until 7 May 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000