The collapsing house

Geraldine Cousin

in Playing For Time

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780719061974
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700976 | DOI:
The collapsing house

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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This chapter begins with a defining stage moment from the 1990s that translated the sense of danger into an image of a devastated world. It occurred during Stephen Daldry's revival of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls — one of the key productions of the decade. Daldry's production rescued An Inspector Calls from its perceived status as a creaky old repertory ‘war-horse’, but its huge critical and popular success cannot entirely be credited to the director, or the equally gifted designer. The longevity of the production, and the lesser success of other recent revivals of Priestley's plays seem to suggest that they have reclaimed a hold on audiences because they tap into the Zeitgeist of our age of anxiety.

Keywords: Stephen Daldry; An Inspector Calls; J. B. Priestley; Zeitgeist; revival

Chapter.  3347 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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