Product Idea

An Inspector Calls

Something a little different from my previous models!

"An Inspector Calls" by JB Priestley is a play set in 1912, before the start of WW1 and before the Titanic sank. The author wrote the play in response to what he saw was happening in society; social inequality and a lack of compassion and morality from those with power. 

"The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole." Source

The play itself is studied the world over by students and actors alike. Here in the UK, "An Inspector Calls" is a popular set text, studied by pupils as part of their English Literature GCSE qualification. 

The play has been dramatised many times; on stage, film and for TV. It is popular because the story takes place on one set, with minimal props. This makes it an easier for smaller theatres and amateur dramatic societies who don't have the equipment or space for big scene changes. 

This idea stems from a lesson I teach with my GCSE English Literature pupils. I bring my large box of Lego to school, and working in a small group, pupils create the stage. Of course, my collection of Lego bricks often results in some multicolour creations, but in essence, the stage and scene is set. By kinaesthetically creating the scene, pupils are far more likely to remember key details.

This version I built in LDD following the stage layout and scene description from the original play. The minifigures are representative of the character descriptions. I made this to share with my pupils and colleagues, but thought the Lego Ideas community may enjoy it too. 

 

The Model

482 pieces. (including the minifigures) All quotes below are taken from the play.

Features:

Small backstage area with prop table

Dining-Room Scene

Fireplace 

Two Armchairs

Floor Lamp

Small Table with Telephone

Large Dining Table

Dining Room Chairs

A few "imposing but tasteless pictures"

Drinks and glasses

"The general effect is substantial and comfortable and old-fashioned but not cozy and homelike."

 

Minifigures (Cast)

Edna: "a neatly dressed parlor maid, in her late twenties"

Arthur Birling: "a heavy looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties"

Sybil Birling: "Is about fifty, a rather cold woman."

Shiela Birling: "A pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited."

Gerald Croft: " An attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly to be a dandy, but very much the easy well-bred young-man-about-town"

Eric Birling: "Is in his middle twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive" 

The Inspector