by Arthur Miller
(image sourced from google images)
Dear Mr Edward Norton in case you are reading and before I start, I do confess I saw this particular theatre delight in ‘preview’, and though prior to taking my seat I did start to query the sense in this decision (post watching your terrific performance in Birdman), I can happily report now however, it was one of the best decision I’ve made. Not only did I secure the opportunity to be entertained by some of the best stage actors out there, I did so at a reduced price.
Now to my principle driving home post production pondering.
- Why has it taken me so long to discover Arthur Miller?
I mean I studied ‘The Crucible’ at school, loved it and had the hots for John Proctor, and then as luck would have it, saw ‘A View from the Bridge’ at the Young Vic last July, (loved that too), though sadly it’s only these three that currently mark my Miller education/appreciation/experience dance card. Shocking I know.
Alas there is good news, Wikipedia has just advised me that I have approximately 33 more plays to explore.
So why do I like Miller so much and in particular Death of a Saleman?
- The interactions between the characters and their thoughts/opinions not only feel authentic, but the dialogue fits it to a tee.
- It’s great to spend time examining personal insecurities (though best not my own).
- Walt Loman – you want to shake him and say pull yourself together man, but you also want to put your arms around him and just sit quietly.
- The futility of the dream, the ultimate job a man can do, is excellently explored and exposed for what it really is.
- The relationships – not only between the family members who all have concerns and things they hide from each other and themselves, but also the constant kindness of Charley.
- Exploring certain aspects of life built on invented truth and thinking I know people like that…maybe I’m like that…
- And the setting – for I’ve always been intrigued to learn more about this time in history and the effects of the Depression.
So what makes the RSC production super great?
- Casting Harriet Walter as Linda and Antony Sher as Willy Loman
- The use of space on stage available to the actors.
- The sheer talent and ability of all the acting team. You feel the anguish and are brought close to the raw emotion of the action.
- The affective roller-coaster you the audience are strapped to through-out.
- And the tapas and churros I had just prior to the show in the Circle Bar.
It’s such a fabulous production and very wisely it will transfer to the West End post its Stratford season.
Go find a ticket.