All My Sons - Apollo Theatre
Pro reviewers average
|No pro reviewer has rated this show yet|
||I guess that most people know that Arthur Miller is a heavy weight playwright. I also guess that this is the reason why many people are put off going to his plays. Sometimes those GCSE / A Level memories are just a little bit too raw.
Personally I loved GCSE English – this was because we never had a teacher. We never had any home work and when we did turn up to lessons a couple of the guys would always end up thumping Woody till he either a) was knocked out, b) cried, c) took his trouser off to distract them, or d) till the supply teacher sent to baby sit us finally noticed and threatened them with expulsion. Happy Days – unless you were Woody.
I was never involved with the thumping – my role as class joker forbade any physical contact but did also mean violence was never aimed at me. As some of the lucky amongst you know; I am a lover and not fighter….
All My Sons is as hard hitting now as it was then and for a number of reasons and in some respects more pertinent.
The story as one would expect from Miller is strong and coupled with firm direction it moves like a Boa Constrictor, slowly shifting from one side to the other and then round the back until swiftly and deftly, you’re taken. I was uncomfortable for quite a while during the performance and it had nothing to do with my seat.
As a generation we have had it good. The last 60 years have been of relative stability and there has been no major disruption to our lives of comfort. We have not had to sacrifice and for us compromise is just like those little white lies we tell that have no moral impact.
But what if we had to sacrifice, what if our actions had a real impact?
Joe Keller made engines for war planes during the second world way. Because of a manufacturing fault 21 pilots were killed, his own son a pilot was killed but he knows that that was nothing to do with his engines, his son flew a different type of plane. Having served time but then being acquitted he is back running the firm with his business partner/ former neighbour taking the fall for the deaths. He is making money and is the boss of the factory, all the neighbours like him and will talk and make nice. Of course the slag him off behind his back but as I was told when I was younger, you’ll always have friends while you have money in your pocket.
His surviving son now wants to marry his dead brother’s sweetheart but the Joe’s wife still does not believe that her eldest son is dead and refuses to accept the inevitable.
As a play this is pretty much faultless. The strong story was coupled with excellent performances from Zoe Wannamaker and David Suchet. As much as I could see what was coming, I could not help but like Joe even though at times his actions were bordering on evil – it’s a strong word but I cannot think of any other way to describe the intentional breaking up of a family.
There are a number of excuses that we can come up with for our actions but ultimately we have to face the consequences some of which can be quite unimagined and always unintended.
Miller’s play was very of its time but also of ours.
Overview, Cast and Creatives