The dining room of a fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer. It has good solid furniture of the period. The general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy and homelike. (If a realistic set is used, then it should be swung back, as it was in the production at the New Theatre. By doing this, you can have the dining-table centre downstage during Act One, when it is needed there, and then, swinging back, can reveal the fireplace for Act Two, and then for Act Three can show a small table with telephone on it, downstage of fireplace.. By this time the dining-table and its chairs have moved well upstage. Producers who wish to avoid this tricky business, which involves two re-settings of the scene and some very accurate adjustments of the extra flats necessary would be well advised to dispense of an ordinary realistic set, if only because the dining table becomes a nuisance. The lighting should be pink and intimate until the INSPECTOR arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder.
At the rise of curtain, the four BIRLINGS and GERALD are seated at the table, with ARTHUR BIRLING at one end, his wife at the other, ERIC downstage, and SHEILA and GERALD seated upstage. EDNA, the parlourmaid, is just clearing the table, which has no cloth, of dessert plates and champagne glasses, etc., and replacing them with a decanter of port, cigar box and cigarettes. Port glasses are already on the table. All five are in the evening dress of the period, the men in tails and white ties, not dinner jackets. ARTHUR BIRLING is a heavy looking, rather portentous looking man in his middle fifties but rather provincial in his speech. His wife is about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband’s social superior. SHEILA is a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited. GERALD CROFT is an attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred man about town. ERIC is in his early twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive. At the moment they have all had a good dinner, are celebrating a special occasion, and are pleased with themselves.
在帷幕上升时，四个伯林家人和吉拉尔德坐在桌子旁，一端是亚瑟·伯林，另一端是他妻子，艾瑞克在舞台后方，而丝娜和吉拉尔德在舞台前方。客厅的女仆埃德娜刚刚清理了没有布的桌子，甜品盘和香槟杯等，然后摆上装着波特酒的倒酒器，雪茄盒和香烟，波特酒杯已经在桌子上了。这五个人全都穿着那个时代的晚礼服，男人燕尾服和白色领带，而不是晚礼服。阿瑟·伯灵（Arthur Birling）在五十多岁的时候是一个容貌沉重，颇具表情的人，但他的讲话却颇具地方特色。他的妻子大约五十岁，是一个相当冷酷的女人，是丈夫的社会上流社会。 丝娜是个二十多岁的漂亮女孩，她对生活感到非常满意，并且非常兴奋。杰拉德·克罗夫特（GERALD CROFT）大约30岁，颇有男子气概，尽管他太有男子气概而无法成为花花公子，但在城镇中也属于养尊处优的公子哥。埃里克（ERIC）二十多岁，并不轻松自然，一半羞怯，一半自信。目前，他们共进晚餐，庆祝特殊场合，并为自己感到高兴。