‘Gripping’ play opens

AN INSPECTOR CALLS: Gerald Croft, played by 17-year-old Arlo Bruce, and Sheila Birling, played by 17-year-old Layla Manning, feature in the latest production by Big Little Theatre Company.
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Big Little Theatre Company’s senior actors have been polishing their performances for the company’s production.

Directed by theatre company founder Jackie Heffernan and her daughter Anna, An Inspector Calls has opened at the Ashburton Event Centre. Opening night was Thursday.

Tickets have almost sold out for the three evening performances.

And only about 40 tickets remained for the final show on Sunday, a 2pm matinee, as of Monday this week.

The show is in the Bradford Room, which has been set up as an engagement party scene.

Audience members will be seated as guests for the show, which will be delivered in the style of immersive theatre.

Jackie said the play featured a gripping narrative.

As such it would keep its audiences on the edge of their seat.

‘‘The cast have done an outstanding job at interpreting and performing the complex characters,’’ she said.

Set in 1912 England, the J.B. Priestley play is set against the backdrop of a wealthy family’s celebration of their daughter’s engagement.

With its timeless themes of morality, responsibility, and social justice, the thought-provoking play is renowned for having captivated audiences worldwide.

‘‘With every new show, Big Little Theatre Company continues to push its students in challenging new directions,’’ Jackie said.

The performance is presented as supper theatre, in which the audience are guests at an engagement party thrown by an affluent family.

However, the pleasant festivities are interrupted when an unexpected guest arrives.

Big Little Theatre Company is an Ashburton children’s theatre company which has been producing outstanding theatre for almost 20 years.

It has performed on The Court Theatre Stage, and at Little Andromeda in Christchurch, they have trained at The Globe Theatre in London, The Egg Theatre in Bath and in Stratford upon Avon with The Royal Shakespeare Company.

– An Inspector Calls stages April 18 to 21 at the Ashburton Event Centre.Tickets are available at asheventcentre.co.nz