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Playing For TimeStories of Lost Children, Ghosts and the Endangered Present in Contemporary Theatre$
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Geraldine Cousin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719061974

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719061974.001.0001

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The collapsing house

The collapsing house

(p.1) 1 The collapsing house
Playing For Time

Geraldine Cousin

Manchester University Press

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

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