An Inspector Calls was first performed in 1945 in the USSR in two theatres (Kamerny Theatre in Moscow and Comedy Theatre in Leningrad), as a suitable venue in the United Kingdom could not be found, due to the fact that Priestley wrote the play in one week and all the theatres in the UK had already been booked for that season. The play had its first British production in 1946 at the New Theatre in London with Ralph Richardson as Inspector Goole, Harry Andrews as Gerald Croft, Margaret Leighton as Sheila Birling, Julien Mitchell as Arthur Birling, Marian Spencer as Sybil Birling and Alec Guinness as Eric Birling.
The first Broadway production opened at the Booth Theatre on 21 October 1947 and ran until 10 January 1948. The production was staged by Cedric Hardwicke.
The play was produced and performed at the Ferdowsi Theatre in Iran in late 1940s based on the translation by Bozorg Alavi.
In 1986 Richard Wilson directed a production at the Royal Exchange, Manchester with Geraldine Alexander as Sheila Birling, Hugh Grant as Eric Birling and Graeme Garden as Inspector Goole.
Tom Baker played Inspector Goole in a 1987 production directed by Peter Dews and designed by Daphne Dare that opened at Theatr Clwyd on 14 April then transferred to London's Westminster Theatre on 13 May 1987. The cast included Pauline Jameson as Sybil Birling, Peter Baldwin as Arthur Birling, Charlotte Attenborough as Sheila Birling, Simon Shepherd as Gerald Croft and Adam Godley as Eric Birling.
A revival of the play by British director Stephen Daldry opened at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in September 1992. Daldry's concept was to reference two eras: the 1945 post-war era, when the play was written, and the ostensible historical setting for the work in pre-war 1912; this emphasised the way the character Goole was observing, and deploring, the Birling family's behaviour from Priestley's own cultural viewpoint. It won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and was widely praised for making the work involving and politically relevant for a modern audience. The production is often credited with single-handedly rediscovering Priestley's works and "rescuing" him from the reputation of being obsolete and class-bound, although the production had some detractors, including Sheridan Morley who regarded it as a gimmicky travesty of the author's patent intentions. The success of the production since 1992 has led to a critical reappraisal of Priestley as a politically engaged playwright who offered a sustained critique of the hypocrisy of English society. A Broadway transfer of the production starring Philip Bosco opened at the Royale Theatre (now the Bernard Jacobs Theatre) on 27 April 1994 and played 454 performances.
The Stephen Daldry production went on a tour of the UK in 2011 and 2012, with Tom Mannion as Inspector Goole. The production returned to the Playhouse in London's West End in November 2016, with Liam Brennan in the name part.