All My Sons review at Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames – ‘richly performed’
Michael Rudman’s 1985 revival of Death of a Salesman won a Tony. He clearly knows his Arthur Miller and his production of All My Sons is the definition of solid. It delivers the goods, if little in the way of surprise.
The production is full of rich, considered performances and is never less than engaging. David Horovitch has a placid, amiable, and at times faintly bumbling manner, as the Keller family patriarch, a man who knowingly sent defective engine parts to the air force, causing the death of many young men. When you realise the depth an extent of his guilt, it’s like a slap.
Alongside him, Penny Downie is desperately poignant as the mother who is so steeped in denial that she refuses to believe her son, missing in action for three years, is never coming back, while Alex Waldmann brings his usual degree of nuance and charm to the role of surviving son Chris. In the smaller role of George, the young man who realises the extent of Keller’s deception and comes to challenge him, Edward Harrison is captivating. He radiates pain, his fury tempered with great, lake-like sadness.
The whole ensemble is strong. But while Michael Taylor’s set, a three-storey clapboard house, successfully fills the Rose Theatre’s rather unwieldy stage, it makes for a rather bland backdrop. It has a sunny flatness about it. The way in which Matthew Scott’s plinky-tinkly music underscores each key plot point and moment of revelation also feels a bit hackneyed.