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An Inspector Calls star Liam Brennan gives us his top five detectives

The inspector himself counts down his top mystery solvers as the school curriculum favourite tours the UK

Liam Brennan in An Inspector Calls
© Mark Douet

The high school curriculum favourite An Inspector Calls is currently on tour around the UK, leaving audiences guessing all across the country. In the driving seat for this show is Liam Brennan playing Inspector Goole, with Christine Kavanagh, Jeff Harmer, Alasdair Buchan, Chloe Orrock, Ryan Saunders and Diana Payne-Myers as suspects in Eva Smith's suspicious suicide. As Inspector Goole, we asked Brennan to run down his top five detectives and inspectors from both the stage and the silver screen:


5. Kojak

"I liked Kojak when I was a kid. I guess it's very interesting watching someone problem solve, piecing something together. In terms of suspects, watching people hiding something, watching people try and lie successfully is also very compelling."


4. Miss Marple

"I used to love the old black and white movies that we had – Margaret Rutherford, she was Miss Marple. There's a couple of old movies with her as Miss Marple that I think are terrific. As an audience member, you get a bit of a thrill when you feel the actor [Rutherford] speaking to you."


3.Hercule Poirot

"I do love those movies. Murder on the Orient Express, Albert Finney plays Poirot in that. Death on the Nile is Peter Ustinov. I never particularly got into the David Suchet programme I must admit, but I do love those two as far as the character Poirot goes. I did see Kenneth Branagh in the 2017 film Murder on the Orient Express and enjoyed it very much. I prefer the original one, but I did think he was very good."


2. Columbo

"I've always enjoyed watching Peter Falk as Columbo, I think that's a fantastic programme. The thing with Columbo is that you see at the beginning exactly who's done it – the fun and the joy of it is watching him work it out when you the audience know already."


1. Inspector Goole

"When I first did this I used to spend a lot of time worrying about who and what he is. But if I decide that he's some kind of ghost or spectre, then what would I do about that – what is good ghost acting? When I'm onstage, if I want to sound and look truthful I have to think of him as a human being. You're kind of the engine of the piece for the time that you're on, you go straight from hounding one of them onto the next one. They [the suspects] each get their own interrogation and there isn't really any gap in between. It's pretty hell for leather from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave.

"I enjoy the interrogation with the mum character, I think it's the fieriest. She's the hardest nut to crack. I do enjoy my final speech, we do something interesting with it before I leave the stage. Rather than give anything to the family I break the fourth wall and say it to the audience. I get the sense that the audience like that."


An Inspector Calls is currently on a UK tour until 23 May 2020.

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