Plays by JB Priestley

video An Inspector Calls (BBC film adaptation)

BBC Video
Type: Video

Emotionally powerful and sharply relevant, this is a stylish new adaptation of JB Priestley’s timeless masterpiece. An Inspector Calls is both an enthralling mystery and a scathing critique of a hypocritical, class-obsessed society. Set in 1912, it vividly evokes a thriving industrial age built on crippling social inequality. Taking place over the course of a single night, this taut, affecting and ultimately tragic story centres on the prosperous Birling family. They receive a surprise visit from Inspector Goole who investigating the suicide of a young girl, a former factory worker of Mr Birling’s. Interrogating each family member in turn, Goole’s incisive questioning reveals that each one not only had a connection to the girl but also may have played a significant part in her demise. As the family’s callous actions are brought to light, so are dark and shameful secrets that threaten to tear the Birling household apart and destroy its reputation.


A Drama Republic production for BBC. Director: Aisling Walsh (Wallander, Room at the Top); Adapted by: Helen Edmundson (The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Coram Boy) from the play by JB Priestley; Producer: Howard Ella (The Interceptor, Good Cop); Executive Producers: Greg Brenman (The Honourable Woman, Peaky Blinders) Roanna Benn (My Mad Fat Diary, Prisoners’ Wives). Starring: David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything, War Horse, Harry Potter); Ken Stott (The Hobbit, The Missing, Rebus, Messiah); Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, Testament of Youth, Parade’s End).

Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP

J. B. Priestley(1894–1984) was a British dramatist, novelist, and man of letters. His first work for the stage, The Good Companions (1931), was a dramatization of his own successful novel about a touring theatre company. It was followed in 1932 by Dangerous Corner, the first of several expressionist works exploring the nature of time and presenting alternative versions of the same series of events. Time And The Conways and I Have Been Here Before (both 1937) employ similar ideas and are amongst Priestley’s most frequently revived works. They were followed by the farce When We Are Married (1939), set in Priestley’s native Yorkshire; in the first production the author himself played a role. They Came to a City (1943), Priestley’s most overtly political play, was followed by the popular mystery drama An Inspector Calls (1946), which starred Ralph Richardson, and The Linden Tree (1947), in which Lewis Casson and Sybil Thorndike played husband and wife. Priestley’s later plays were generally less successful. He was the first president of the International Theatre Institute.