An Inspector Calls running at Century Church Theatre

J.B. Priestley’s masterpiece of mys­tery writing, An Inspector Calls, comes to Century Church Theatre here May 28 through June 6, presented by Century Theatre Guild, and directed by Jo Phenix.

One of the most popular and entertaining detective stories of the 20th century, and consid­ered by many critics to be the best play of the last century, An Inspector Calls will the audience won­dering and talking long after it has left the theatre.

Set in 1912, against a background of the current English class structure, the play centres around a family’s in­volvement in a girl’s death, but this is no run-of-the-mill whodunnit: The real mystery is the inspector himself.

Jill Peterson appears as Sheila, the daughter with a con­science, with Ken Noakes and Brigida Scholten as the upper-crust parents, Mr. and Mrs. Birling. All three are regular performers at the Century Church Theatre.

The wayward young son, Eric, is played by newcomer Iain Singleton, re­cently seen in Erin as the Rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof. Edna, the maid, will be played by veteran actors Shannon Smith and Sharon Ching.

Neville Worsnop appears as the Inspector, with his son, Martyn, as the young fiancé, Gerald Croft, the first time the two have been on stage to­geth­er since Martyn was a child, 35 years ago.

As an interesting aside, the Worsnop family lived in the same neigh­bour­hood as Priest­ley in Bradford, England, and Neville Worsnop’s mother play­ed on the same street. The young Priestley was known in the neighbourhood as “fatty Jackie.”

Today, as one of the great literary figures of the 20th century, he is honoured with a statue in the centre of town.

The play has been hotly debated for 70 years, recently enjoying popular revivals in London, on Broadway, and at last year’s Shaw Festival.

The mystery is so engaging that Century Theatre Guild is offering a prize to the audience member who emails the most interesting interpretation of the events of the play.

The show runs May 28 through June 6, Thursday through Saturday evenings, with a matinee on June 6.

Tickets are $15 on Thursdays and the matinee, and $18 on Friday and Saturday evenings, all taxes and charges included.

To reserve, call the box office at 519-855-4586, and visit www.centurychurchthe­  for more about the play, the playwright, and the players.