In 2015, Drama Republic produced a star-studded new 90’ version of JB Priestley’s timeless masterpiece An Inspector Calls for BBC One. Directed by BAFTA winning Aisling Walsh, the cast was headed by David Thewlis, Miranda Richardson and Ken Stott. It was executive produced by Drama Republic’s Greg Brenman and Roanna Benn.
Priestley’s classic stage play was written in 1945 when the Western World was undergoing sweeping transformations. Following the very first production in the Soviet Union in the same year, it has enjoyed worldwide success ever since.
Set in 1912, in an industrial northern town, the taut and ultimately tragic story centres on the prosperous Birling family. Arthur Birling and his wife Sybil are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Shiela to Gerald Croft.
But the Birlings’ festivities are punctured by a visit from the imposing Inspector Goole, who is investigating the suicide of a former factory worker of Mr Birling’s, Eva Smith.
Goole’s investigation reveals hidden cruelties lying underneath the Birlings’ veneer of hard-won respectability. It seems that each member of the family had a connection with Eva – and each played a part in her demise. As their callous actions are brought to light, so are dark and shameful secrets that threaten to tear the household apart. The Inspector’s visit forces the Birlings to confront the consequences of their thoughtlessness and privilege.
The production won the Best Single Drama prize at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2016. It has received a Broadcast Awards nomination and two BAFTA award nominations: for the show’s director, Aisling Walsh, and for its editing.
“…the messages and sentiments – about social responsibility and a shared humanity – remain important and relevant… An Inspector Calls, sensitively adapted here by Helen Edmundson, time-travels remarkably well: it translates into gripping 21st-century television.” The Guardian