The Price review at Library Theatre Manchester
In honour of Arthur Miller, who died earlier this year, the Library Theatre celebrates the work of one of America’s greatest playwrights with a first class production of The Price.
Exploring many of Miller’s familiar themes, this semi-autobiographical work deals with the effects of the Depression on the American Dream but it is also about moral responsibility and the ultimate price for the choices people make.
This crystal clear reading of the text by director Chris Honer allows the play to breathe and the success of the vital opening sequence with no dialogue, apart from the sound of old gramophone records, is a combination of Honer’s skill, designer Dawn Allsopp’s cluttered New York apartment and James Francombe’s creative lighting.
As the estranged brothers meet to sort out their dead father’s belongings, Rolf Saxon is simply spellbinding as Victor. This is an actor unafraid to allow the audience to see his thought process and we hang on every word. Stuart Milligan is his self-seeking brother Walter, and the two spar magnificently in a wonderful war of words.
There is another first rate performance from David Fleeshman as Solomon, the Jewish antiques dealer, who beautifully punctuates the piece with philosophical humour and a zest for life. Sue Jenkins also makes a mark as Esther, Victor’s strident wife, who ultimately finds compassion.
As the words spring to life anew, in our disposable society, perhaps post 9/11, Miller’s message will once again have resonance. This is theatre at its best.
Library Theatre, Manchester, October 21-November 11
- Arthur Miller
- Chris Honer
- Library Theatre
- Cast includes
- Rolf Saxon, David Fleeshman, Stuart Milligan, Sue Jenkins
- Running time
- 2hrs 10mins