All My Sons
Arthur Miller’s centenary year gets off to a cracking start with this tightly-directed revival of the great American playwright’s first masterpiece All My Sons.
Produced in association with The New Wolsey Theatre, this 1947 drama has clear resonances with contemporary society and the way that business makes money out of warfare.
Director Michael Buffong skilfully lulls the audience into a false sense of security as the play opens with what appears to be a family reunion and a possible wedding as the son of a successful factory owner has brought his fiancee home to propose to her.
But, as the play unfolds, the audience slowly become aware of dark secrets lurking in the family’s past.
Like all Arthur Miller plays, this is a story of how the family fits in with society. This family presents a happy, relaxed, friendly face to the world but underneath tensions simmer.
The casting is spot on and there’s real strength to all the performances. Joe (Ray Shell) the patriarch is jovial and always has a twinkle in his eye, while his wife Kate (Dona Croll) has a real warmth to her. Chris (Leemore Marrett Jr) is earnest, desperate to break away from his father’s shadow, but the standout performance of the evening is provided by Kemi-Bo Jacobs as Chris’ fiancee Ann, She creates a character filled with charm, strength and then believable uncertainty as secrets are revealed.
This brilliantly staged play gives a classic play a deserved new lease of life.
February 12-21, PN February 17, then touring until April 25