Skip to main content

All My Sons

Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Three stars


If war
is a curse, pity the official opening night of Rapture Theatre's new touring
revival of Arthur Miller's post World War Two dissection of the business of bad
government. Not only was actor Paul Shelley temporarily indisposed from playing
the play's pivotal character, Joe Keller, requiring company member David
Tarkenter to step into the breach, but midway through Act Two, actress Trudie
Goodwin, leading a crucial scene as Joe's self-deluding spouse, Kate, passed
out, causing the action to be halted for several minutes before the curtain
raised once more.

While both unfortunate incidents made for an understandably
uneven evening, they also lent a certain edge to proceedings, so that by the
time we get to a funereally played last act, the tension is palpable to
all.

Prior to that, things had started off in a wonderfully sunny American
suburbia, where Joe and Kate's forced niceties barely hide how Kate pines for
her pilot son, who went missing in action three years before. With surviving
offspring Chris hitting on Larry’s former girl Annie, daughter of Joe's former
business partner, Steve, who took the rap for offloading some dodgy airplane
parts while Joe went free.

Miller's timebomb of a play put families at war in
a way that saw them caught in the crossfire of warped capitalism and downright
lies that the American Dream was built on. Plus ca change in Emans' brooding
production, in which Tarkenter and Goodwin both prove themselves heroic in a
timely revival that can't help but point up how the real war criminals get away
with mass murder while the little guy becomes the people's patsy.

The Herald, September 4th 2015
End

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …